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Small Business Services

Complimentary Advisory Report

AT&T Versus Verizon:
Who Stands Up Best Against the Competition
in the Small Business Market

| June 2, 2010 | Small Business Services
| Analysts: Larry Hettick, Research Director, Consumer Services U.S.
and Bruce McGregor, Senior Analyst, Small Business Services

Click here to download report (100 KB PDF)

Comparing AT&T and Verizon as they address the small business market, it is easy to find many similarities. Yet, the two companies also have some subtle differences, both with their business product portfolios and the way they market and develop services for their respective customer bases. For instance, Verizon’s FiOS network with faster speeds is better suited to handle business needs than AT&T’s next-generation network, U-verse. Verizon is the nation’s largest wireless provider, but it has done little to create valuable mobile SMB data applications. AT&T is in second place as a national wireless carrier according to the customer counts, but credit goes to AT&T for being more responsive to include wireless voice and data plans with a small business bundle, and it prominently offers a wide variety of SMB mobile data applications.

With these differences, it is important to evaluate which provider, AT&T or Verizon, stands better prepared to handle cable operators’ bigger push into selling business services against them. Five of the nation’s top cable operators (Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, and Time Warner Cable Business Class [TWCBC]) have all pledged to take a more aggressive stance in selling business services and they are starting to show signs of momentum. Cable companies see the small business sector as an untapped market and are gunning to steal customers away from the incumbent phone operators. In 2009, this opportunity paid off, with Comcast Business Services yielding $828 million in revenue with 48% annual growth and TWCBC reporting commercial services revenue of $915 million with a 15% year-over-year increase. Both Verizon and AT&T are threatened by cable company encroachment into their business customer bases.

Complimentary Webinar Replay

Win Small, Win Big:
Comparing Telco, MSO, and CLEC Strategies in the Small Business Market

| Jul 20, 2010 | Small Business Services - U.S.
| Analysts: Larry Hettick, Research Director, Consumer Services U.S. and Bruce McGregor, Senior Analyst, Small Business Services

Click here to replay the Webinar (Webex)
Click here to download presentation (330KB PDF)

This presentation is an in depth discussion on the nuances of selling to small businesses an array of voice, data and video services. Sometimes viewed as illusive, small business owners can be tougher to market to compared with consumers and large enterprises. Part of the issue is the diversity of small businesses ranging from a one person operation to companies with up to 100 employees. Vital to all these businesses is quality communication and data services in order to keep in contact with their customers and increase productivity. Top attributes businesses are looking for in a service provider is the balance between affordability and reliability.

The incumbent phone providers, most prominently AT&T and Verizon, have been historically most trusted by small businesses. Moving forward, the loyalty to these incumbent providers will be tested by growing competition and emerging new technologies. ILECs face a growing threat as their base of voice access lines dwindle and must look towards the opportunities of gaining ground in the small business segment as means to boost revenues. The nation’s top cable operators have all pledged to take a more aggressive stance in selling business services and they are starting to show signs of momentum. CLECs are merging together to be stronger competitors such as the planned linkage of Speakeasy, MegaPath and Covad.


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