Internet access has become a critical issue for small businesses. From the fibre dedicated to simple ADSL/SDSL access, when it is not a simple consumer internet box, there is a direct correlation between the size of the company and the quality of internet access. VSEs and artisans often have a poor perception of the need to pay a pro subscription that is more expensive than their domestic access, until their offices are deprived of Internet access for several days while their operator troubleshoots them.
Different options are available to the entrepreneur. On the one hand, the pro offers of all the major national operators. These are catalogue products that are ultra-standardised and industrialised. In addition to an HT invoicing, these packages offer some interesting SLAs, in particular an intervention within 8 hours in case of breakdown, a customer support dedicated to professionals, sometimes a backup of the fixed link with a 4G router. The very competitive cost is mainly due to the fact that they are based on the telecom infrastructures of the consumer network, ADSL/SDSL or VDSL on the copper network or FTTH/EPON for the fibre.
But the other side of the coin is that these offers are not very flexible. The company has to comply with what the package offers. A company wishing to benefit from more personalised services must turn to company type operators capable of customised solutions.
On this market cohabit large international operators such as Verizon and Deutsche Telekom but also a multitude of regional or national operators such as Avenir Telecom, Bretagne Telecom, Coriolis, Foliateam, Hexatel, Kertel, Teleris or even OVH. The interest for an SME to turn to a purely B2B operator with a strong regional presence is to be able to benefit from integration services that go beyond the simple installation of the fibre.
These small players compete with the major operators and their integrators by offering companies local services and the ability to maintain a very close technical and commercial link with their customers.
Today, these "small" operators are seeking to break through their regional glass ceiling, either by making acquisitions or by turning to external sources of financing. If there is no clear consolidation of the market around the incumbent operators, the French players positioned on the fibre market are obtaining significant financing to develop, and the cards are being reshuffled, particularly on this fibre market.
The challenge for the market players is to recreate value and that is why we are seeing a lot of fund-raising and a change of shareholders. Fibre requires large investments, but it will be the key to offer new offers to companies and finally see very high speeds arrive in all companies, including the most modest.
Source : ZDNet