How CSPs Can Strategically Partner to Compete With Bigger Businesses

Small CSPs, or communications service providers, have it rough right now. Just a few businesses dominate the American market for services like telecommunications and internet. In fact, nearly 50 million Americans have only one internet service provider to choose from. If smaller CSPs want to break into those kinds of markets, they’re going to need some help.

When it comes to communication services, “smaller” generally means “more specialized” as well. While small-time CSPs may have success carving out their own niches, they’ll likely have trouble facing down the big dogs. The easiest way to get past this is to engage in meaningful partnerships with some other CSPs in your lane, combining your powers to form a durable alliance. 

While creating a superteam of CSPs to take down industry titans may sound good on paper, it’s much easier said than done. Forming quality partnerships requires strategy, planning, and a level of foresight that can prove difficult to pin down. If you’re looking to compete with the biggest names in your field, you’ll need a few friends helping you to do so. Here are some things you can team up on:

1. Expand Service Area for Your Business

As of this moment, the single greatest opportunity for CSPs is the expansion of coverage. Approximately 10% of all Americans have no internet access whatsoever, and some that do likely don’t have any high-speed options to choose from. The country is teeming with markets that CSPs tap into. But, going it solo may seem like a difficult task to manage.

Teaming up with a fellow CSP to expand service area won’t just create a more resilient business model for the both of you; it will leave both companies more prepared to provide access even further beyond existing boundaries. 

There are millions of dollars waiting to be awarded to businesses that take the leap and provide telecommunications services to those who don’t already have them: the FCC recently awarded $25 million to internet service providers in New Hampshire in order to expand their coverage area, and Congress gave companies in West Virginia $7.6 million to do the same.

The demand is there and the money is there. You just simply need to take a leap of faith and start expanding. Find a partner willing to jump with you, and you’re bound to make a splash.

2. Leverage Data For Insight

CSPs collect user data like no others, constantly gleaning insights from the mounds of numbers they process on a daily basis. This is one of the primary reasons for inequality in the field: big companies have more data to mine through. This means they have more data to base their market strategies on. 

The fix here is a simple one: get more data to analyze and get better at analyzing your data. Those goals are what network data intelligence solutions company Plume had in mind when it created its platform to help internet service providers take stock of usership

Through tools like CLARITY data analysis software, Plume’s platform helps businesses know exactly how their users are engaging with their service and what they can do better. This provides a level of insight rarely seen outside of the Fortune 500.

3. Combine Features Your Business Offers

Nearly every phone, internet, or data plan these days seems to come as part of a bundle — and why not? Most customers will want all three of these utilities. So, offering them together at a lower price is a deal for everyone. The catch is that bundles, while good for consumers, are usually only offered by the biggest players. These are the ones that can provide all three of those services.

If you want to offer a bundle of your own, you’ll need to enlist some help. Look for other businesses in your area that offer complementary services to your own. Then, find the price that works best, and let consumers know that they have a new option available to them. Team up in order to achieve the best deals for your customers, and your customers will repay you with their best business.

The world of CSPs is not a zero-sum game. By working together, you and other CSPs can grow your operations and take over huge chunks of the market along the way. The bigger the opponents are, the more partnerships you’ll need to make — so get to work.