NEW BLOG: With cost savings and increased efficiency remaining as important as ever in the mobile industry, new ways in which to achieve these goals will always attract the attention of operators and infrastructure vendors.

After a long period of sustained growth, operators have seen declining revenue with profits also harder to come by, as macroeconomic issues and those specific to the industry have taken their toll.

And infrastructure players have also had a hard time, as operators have had less money to spend and aggressive competition has impacted margins for even the most successful players.

“While telecoms was wonderfully cash rich in the past, revenues are now being squeezed. The challenge is to be as lean and efficient as they can possibly be,” Tom Parker, VP of business development for telecoms asset management player and consultancy TXO Systems, told Mobile World Live.

Parker said operators could be missing opportunities by ignoring the unused physical assets that are present within their business.

“We know there are millions of parts out there sitting there not doing anything,” he said, adding that for C-level telecoms executives, unused equipment serving no useful purpose is the “elephant in the room”.

TXO Systems specialises in recovering assets for mobile network operators and infrastructure OEMs, allowing them to sell off unwanted stock, recycle old kit and even re-use items.

According to Parker, operators now want to identify equipment that has not been properly registered within their organisation, often as a result of M&A activity or hardware upgrades. It is estimated that around 50 per cent of assets belonging to operators are not properly catalogued: even parts left in engineers’ vans add up.

Giving an idea of the scale of unused assets, TXO recently recovered about 30,000 individual parts from one customer out of a total of 150,000 components across its business. The customer in question requested around 2,000 parts back as it became clear where they could be redeployed.

“Our customers and suppliers are frequently one and the same,” Parker noted.

By passing equipment to companies like TXO, operators can get assets off their books, also saving logistics and warehousing costs.

If equipment is needed elsewhere in the business, they can also work with TXO to access cheaper kit. Likewise, OEMs can buy parts that they need to maintain networks, allowing them to cut their costs.

Parker also said that TXO gives customers a cut of the revenue when surplus equipment is sold on. The company claims to have generated $10 million this year from selling equipment back to operators or OEMs.

There is also a sustainability angle to this approach and TXO has recycling facilities in the US and UK, with a plant in Brazil soon due to become operational.

Whether it’s reusing items, generating new revenue or recycling kit, asset recovery is
an area that – in the current climate – has the potential to boost the bottom line.

The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members.