Mobile data transformation
Founded in 2009, Rewheel is a Helsinki, Finland based boutique management consultancy specialising into mobile data-centric transformation of telecom operators and markets.
Our clients are mainly progressive mobile network operators, MVNO groups, sector regulators, as well as various companies and investors of Europe’s emerging digital economy.
We are among the very few industry experts worldwide who have holistic knowledge and direct insights into the new, mobile data-centric operator business models, bottom-up. The "bottom" includes data consumption demand, spectrum (demand, valuation, auctions), network technology (3G, LTE, LTE-Advanced, small cells, QoS differentiation, hardware and software dimensioning), evolving network cost dynamics (near zero marinal cost), network vendors (software and hardware pricing, historic telco vs new IP centric pricing models), network sharing (from passive to active), retail and wholesale (MVNO) pricing. The "top" means the latest policy and political trends (European political landscape related to net neutrality, mobile market consolidation, spectrum rules), competition analysis, mergers and acquisitions (regulatory and competition authority intervention thresholds, statements of objectives, effective remedies).
We closely follow and track all competition and mobile data pricing developments in every single EU and OECD member state (through Digital Fuel Monitor).
We have delivered complex strategy consultancy work in the above areas for network operators, MVNO groups, regulators and investors in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania. Buyers of our research reports (see: Digital Fuel Monitor
) and related strategic workshops include many companies and authorities across Europe and world wide.
Makret consolidation (network sharing, mergers) and new market entry
Rewheel has been working closely with European authorities and telco clients on network sharing and telecom mergers and market entries. We support our clients with factual assessments and credible economic, technology and merger (and network sharing) regulation analysis and market entry business cases. Our knowledge covers:
- Competition concerns and effective merger and network sharing clearance remedies in the form of commitments
- Competition authority approved mobile mergers in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Norway, planned mergers in the UK, Italy, failed merger
- Competition on the network layer and the services layer, short term and long term competitive differentiating factors
- Merger efficiencies
- MVNOs, upfront capacity based wholesale access versus throughput and gigabyte-volume based MVNO agreements
- Structural remedies, spectrum, site, customer base divestments, national roaming for new MNO entrants
- Affordable open internet access and specialised services
- Efficient infrastructure investments
- Use-it-or-lose-it spectrum capacity utilisation commitments
- Passive and active network sharing (such as MOCN), coverage and capacity based compensation mechanisms
- Lean, data-centric, LTE-only new mobile network operator entries
(1 page, pdf): Effective remedies in telecom consolidations. Telefonica’s and Hutchison’s so called ‘upfront capacity MVNO’ remedies in Germany and Ireland are neither capacity based nor effective. Lessons learned from the Austrian, German, Irish and Norwegian mergers.
Non-discriminatory, net neutral QoS differentiation for Internet of Things, Mobile Video, Cloud, Connected Cars
Non-discriminatory QoS differentiation, ‘fast-lanes’, paid prioritisation, sponsored data: a wide range of 3GPP compliant 3G, LTE and LTE-Advanced technology solutions exist that enable innovative mobile data monetization strategies (for internet-access, specialised services, mobile video streaming, Internet of Things, Machine-to-Machine, connected cars, telemedicine) and business models even under the strictest net neutrality regulatory frameworks.
We have the required in-depth technology expertise (our consultants are inventors of world-wide patents related to novel mobile data traffic management techniques) as well as the techno-economic mobile data modelling framework (used for/by over ten European operators for spectrum, technology, pricing, vendor selection strategies) to develop and validate innovative “smart pipe” models.
(1 page, pdf): Non-discriminatory, net neutral fast lanes and zero rating. Telcos are absolutely free to discriminate speed, QoS, priority, price between logical pipes. Bits travelling in different logical pipes are not equal.
Maximised spectrum efficiency and value
Since the onset of the mobile internet centric 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz license renewal wave in 2011 in Europe we have been providing strategy, spectrum valuation and auction theory advice (together with our world class CCA/SMRA auction theorist partners) to five European award processes (operator or regulator side depending on country), including new entrants and acquisitions as well as license renewals in multi-band (typically 800,900,1800,2100 and 2600 MHz) auctions. So far our spectrum advisory support has been directly impacting over EUR 1bn of European spectrum investments/state proceeds.
Competitiveness & profitability from the Finnish perspective
Among Rewheel's clients are the Finnish telecom and media regulatory authority as well as leading Finnish mobile operators.
Finland has among the lowest mobile internet usage prices, the highest mobile data consumption per capita (over ten times higher than Germany's), the highest mobile broadband population penetration, as well as among the fastest mobile broadband networks and best 4G/LTE coverage. All mobile operators in Finland abide by strict net neutrality principles: operators do not apply vertical price-discriminations. Despite the mass-affordable open mobile internet offers and very heavy mobile data traffic the Finnish telecom sector generates healthy returns for its investors (16% ROCE
for the market leader operator).
Independence and integrity
Rewheel is fully independent from dominant telecom companies, equipment vendors and their industry lobby organisations such as GSMA, ETNO or ECTA.
Our independence and integrity is demonstrated by the strong and straightforward, pro-competition public positions taken in top business media such as The Economist, Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, European Voice or the Wall Street Journal. We are often quoted on the hottest industry topics - in 2014 and 2015 it is whether telecom and competition regulators should allow in-market consolidations leading to higher operator profits or the opposite: promote stronger infrastructure and spectrum based competition, leading to faster networks and more affordable mobile connectivity prices for consumers and higher utilisation of scarce spectrum resources.
Our consulting firm's small size and financial independence allows us to be selective on our engagaments. If a client's objectives are in conflict with our general pro-competitive stand point, we do not undertake the project.
Only senior consultants
Rewheel is privately owned by its founders Antonios Drossos (managing partner, Linkedin profile
) and Pál Zarándy (senior partner, Linkedin profile
Either Antonios or Pál - and most often both of them - always take a lead role in delivering any Rewheel consulting engagements.
If the scope requires so, we often involve our trusted external senior associates. This has been the case for example when top-class specialist auction theory expertise, hands-on go-to-market strategy development experience, in-depth engineering skills or EU competition law expertise have been required in our more complex consulting engagements.
High impact consulting engagements
We typically engage with our clients on top management or board level.
Since 2009 we have advised over 10 European mobile operators, including independent challengers as well as Tier-1 OpCos, regulators and a number of private equity and institutional investors and various mobile internet centric startups and the largest global players of the emerging mobile video, cloud and IoT ecosystems.
Digital Fuel Monitor
Mobile internet access is the fuel of the internet economy.
Technology innovation (LTE-Advanced, 5G, small cells), new radio spectrum bands (700 MHz), net neutrality regulation, mergers, new entrants, network sharing, MVNO deals, telco provisioned mobile video and cloud services, Google's and Facebook's
zero-rating platforms – major, often disruptive market changes
that may potentially incentivise operators to increase or decrease competition in provisioning open mobile internet access. Volume caps and provisioned speeds may go up. Though, practical experience shows that they often tend to go down.
Get our consultants' often thought provoking analyses and insights (in the form of research notes typically released several times a month) by buying a premium subscription to our Digital Fuel Monitor service.
» Enter the Digital Fuel Monitor website here