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      Recent large-scale mergers and acquisitions are so numerous and dramatic that 2017 could well be called “The Year of the Greatest Telecom Mergers and Acquisitions in History.” Last year’s changes in the telecommunications industry represent a level of transformation not seen since the 1980s. If you are not concerned about the future of your telecom services, perhaps you should be. History has shown that the merger of large telecom companies does not always work out well for customers.
      Looking for the pace of change to slow? It’s not likely, as the financial industry projects a continued trend toward convergence—that is, the consolidation of companies from related industries. Among the dominant categories likely to “converge” are telecommunications and technology companies. According to “The State of the Deal,” a survey and report by Deloitte LLP, technology companies merging with telecommunications providers is cited as one of the strongest trends.1
      Every merger and each acquisition brings greater rewards and more control for the larger-than-ever companies. At the same time as the mega-carriers enjoy economies of scale, reduce operating expenses and redundancy, expand their direct sales initiatives, increase their stock price and squeeze margins, your level of service is likely diminished, and your costs may even increase. The whole process can directly impact the efficiency and productivity of your enterprise.
      How have all the changes affected your business and what can you anticipate going forward in the year after The Year of the Greatest Telecom Mergers and Acquisitions in History? Here, we have tried to provide some insights that may help you fulfill your plans for success through the rest of 2018.
      How to Protect Your Communications Networks

      • Step one is to be aware–know what has changed in relation to your business, so you will be better equipped to build your defenses.
      • As a customer subject to the limitations and extreme automation of mega-carriers, aim to identify a buffer who can act as a connector to your carrier, someone who will maintain a personal relationship with you.
      • The channel agent or partner is that connector, and the best agents will recognize opportunities in the built-in weaknesses of oversized conglomerates.
      • Working with AireSpring, a nationwide network operator and managed services provider that offers White Glove customer service, your channel partner can bridge the gap between you, the customer and a giant telecom provider.
      • Through your channel partner, AireSpring offers access to a wide range of carriers, a broad line of products and services, expert technical advice, pre-sale customized engineering and design and superior competitive pricing options. We work to suit our partners’ and customers’ needs.

      If you are a mid-market enterprise, responsive, personalized customer care matters most and it is a scarce commodity in the post-merger environment. You may think your business won’t be affected by ongoing mergers, but guess again.
      What Do You See in the Rear-View Mirror?
      Take a look back at some of the most significant acquisition events of 2017 as you assess their impact on your organization’s current and future success.

      • February 2017: Verizon finalizes acquisition of XO Communications, gaining XO’s fiber-based Ethernet and IP network assets.
      • February 2017: Windstream merges with EarthLink for an expanded national fiber footprint.
      • March 2017: Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. acquires Electric Lightwave (formerly Integra Telecom), adding their long-haul fiber route miles and dense metro fiber in many Western markets.
      • September 2017: Mitel completes acquisition of ShoreTel, for greater access to cloud communications solutions.
      • September 2017: Spectrum is the marketed brand name for Charter Communications, which acquires both Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable in 2016.
      • September-October 2017: In September, GTT Communications, Inc. completes its acquisition of Global Capacity, adding their client base in application service provider, healthcare, retail and carrier markets. Then, in October, GTT announces its acquisition of Transbeam, to expand its client base and network footprint throughout the Northeast Corridor.
      • November 2017: Century Link and Level 3 complete their merger, expanding worldwide route miles and connecting additional fiber lit buildings.
      • November 2017: Crown Castle International Corp. concludes its acquisition of LTS Group Holdings LLC (“Lightower”), adding route miles of fiber in major Northeastern metro markets.

      Deals Not Done (Yet)-

      • November 2017 — a merger that didn’t happen: Sprint & T-Mobile call it off.
      • December 2017 — the Department of Justice has sued to block the proposed merger of AT&T with Time Warner. Trial concluded in late April 2018, with a decision pending.2, 3

      What About AireSpring?
      AireSpring’s answer to the wave of mergers and acquisitions? We continue to build on our strength as a privately owned, debt-free carrier, creating a One-Stop-Shopping ecosystem that provides partners multiple connectivity options and real-time quotes in 60 seconds through your agent, for any address in the USA.
      Meanwhile, we at AireSpring are working on another year of steady, consistent growth, now from our new, expanded headquarters location, and thanks to the outsized efforts of our channel partners and our committed, professional staff. We know we have both benefited from and contributed to the economic health of a changing telecom industry, navigating its many changes and looking forward to another year of growth with our valued channel partners and customers.


      Sources–original version for newsletter November 1, 2017