Once upon a time, all communications service providers pretty much “looked alike” in terms of strategy. That is less true now, and will probably be much less true in the future, as service providers adapt to the realities of many different segments of the communications business.

These days, strategies are diverging. That might especially be true in developed markets, where actual practices have lead to more strategic diversity over the past couple of decades.

Those differences are driven, in large part, by a bifurcation of opportunity in the global telecommunications business, which is predicted by virtually all analysts to be growing, but unevenly.

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There are lots of places where phone penetration is 22 percent, for example, or where use of the Internet is about 23 percent, despite the fact that mobile penetration, in terms of “accounts,” now is as high as 79 percent, even in the “developing” countries.

Of course, usage even within a single country or region, and revenue prospects for service providers, are not distributed evenly. Generally speaking, growth opportunities are disproportionately found in the Asia-Pacific region, though Africa and Latin America are growth areas as well.

The obverse is true in much of of the developed world, where classic markets for voice and messaging are saturated, and even mobile broadband, the current growth driver, will face maturation not so long from now. That of course explains the serious and even furious pursuit of new growth drivers by executives in the mobile and fixed network service provider industries.

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