Getting to Grips With the Innovative Future of Wholesale


By Jayne MillerOct 6, 2018


Join Erik Kreifeldt at Capacity Europe October 22-25, 2018, in London as he moderates the panel The Big Carrier Debate (The Sequel)—Getting to Grips With the Innovative Future of Wholesale.

If you'll be on the scene, be sure to leave 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23 open on your schedule. This is when Erik will be joined by experts from Telefonica, PCCW Global, Orange, Verizon, and Deutsche Telecom to consider milestones achieved in the wholesale space over the last year.

This conversation will also cover opportunities in emerging markets, the impact of 5G, and the ways in which new technologies are impacting networks and the traditional carrier business model.

Erik was kind enough to give us a sneak preview of the discussion.

Innovation is the buzzword for Capacity Europe 2018. How do you think that theme will play a role in the discussion you'll be moderating?

In thinking about this panel, I tried not to conflate “innovation” with “technology.” Clearly the themes are related, but I hope to explore more operational aspects of innovation that propel the wholesale business.

There's a lot you can say about innovation before you even get to 5G and APIs and lots of the other things that I know we'll be talking about. Which wholesale sectors are ripe for innovative approaches and diversified returns? How has working with content providers spurred innovation, and have other sectors benefited? What are the prospects for services ranging from connectivity to custom managed services?

Which wholesale sectors are ripe for innovative approaches and diversified returns? How has working with content providers spurred innovation, and have other sectors benefited? 

It looks like you also plan to talk about milestones that the wholesale industry has achieved in the last year.

The rapid expansion of major content providers’ networks has caused a major shift in the global wholesale market, so I imagine that will come up. 

Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are investing in new inter-continental submarine cable systems and purchasing increments of fiber pairs. Although this removes large swaths of bandwidth from the managed wholesale bandwidth market, it also drives scale to establish new submarine cable systems and lower overall unit costs. 

Global telecom carriers have incentive to make large investments to achieve low unit costs, but disincentive to rely too heavily on deflationary wholesale sales to liquidate bandwidth in excess of their internal requirements. The challenge for a wholesaler is to achieve low unit cost without incurring excess bandwidth that can’t be sold before a new generation of lower-cost supply emerges. 


Any predictions of what might come up during that discussion What's the big thing that you have a feeling everyone will be talking about at this year's conference?

I have to imagine that 5G is going to be cropping up in lots of panels, not just the one I’ll be moderating.

We’re about to enter the 5G era; major 5G auctions are happening around the globe almost monthly. (We’ve been tracking many of them.)


Capacity Europe is the largest annual meeting in Europe for the global carrier community. This year, the event is looking to bring in 2,500 senior-level delegates from 650+ companies spanning more than 90 countries worldwide.

To keep up with the event, follow @CapacityEvents and @TeleGeography on Twitter.


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Erik Kreifeldt

Erik Kreifeldt

Principal Analyst Erik Kreifeldt tracks the global market for enterprise and wholesale network services and co-chairs the WAN Summit conference series on corporate wide-area network management. Before joining TeleGeography in 2006, Erik was an optical networking industry analyst with RHK, following editorial roles at industry publications including the Optical Society of America, where he covered the first commercial DWDM systems.

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