Publication:

2017 Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey

27 June 2017

The last twelve months have heralded dramatic and unexpected changes in the political, business and economic environment. Shocks to global economics and trade flows – from the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union to the United States of America electing its most unconventional and nationalistic president in living memory – suggest that the tide of popular opinion may be turning away from globalisation. Cybersecurity and the vulnerability of consumer data held by large corporations have also dominated headlines with several high-profile cyber and malware attacks taking place over the last 12 months.

While these economic and technology trends impact all business sectors in different ways, their impact has been felt especially strongly by the telecoms sector. These short-term, unexpected risks have added further complexity to the long-term pressures faced by the sector such as increased competition, changing customer behaviour and declining demand for traditional voice telephony services.

However, many telecoms companies still find themselves managing a period of sluggish revenue growth and a steady decline in profitability. Industry disruption means they are paying even greater heed today to risks that threaten their business model and future survival. This third edition of BDO’s Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey reveals that telecoms companies are on high alert to future risks like never before. Each of the major risks for the telecoms sector that BDO has been measuring for the last three years have noticeably intensified over the last 12 months. To give just one example, risks arising from regulatory changes have nearly doubled, from 42% of telecoms companies who cited this as a significant risk last year to 80% this year.