Consolidation of the ISP market

It’s almost certain that sooner or later, the ISP market will cave in on top of itself and pave the way for a stack of consolidations. Companies buying other companies, and building up huge customer bases.

A recent false news announcement stated that Soul was planning on selling, it was later revealed that is not the case, and that Soul is not for sale, but they do believe consolidation of the industry is likely, and they’d like to be a part of that.

Much of the consolidation over the last few years has been targetted towards iiNet, with a lot of buying up happening, such as iiNet’s biggest buy, OzEmail.

That would have been seen as a big boost to iiNet’s profits as it rolled out infrastructure in Sydney and began realising profits off its eastern investments by pushing the ‘ii’ brand.

The remaining consolidation might perhaps be a buyup of the few smaller ADSL2+ ISPs, or a merge between TPG and Soul perhaps to gain a good foot hold on ADSL2+ in NSW in competition to the others.

Optus obviously aren’t interested in buying, Internode are almost certainly not for sale, iiNet I doubt would ever contemplate selling, the consolidation, if any was to happen would almost certainly be between the smaller ISPs. The goal there would be to become another dominant supplier.

Telstra, Optus, Chime, TPG, Primus, Agile are almost certainly not likely to want to have any sale action or consolidation (though Agile might want to do some buying?).

These ADSL2+ ISPs however have small investments, and might be of interest to someone looking at adding a few customers on ADSL2+ as well as ADSL2+ exchange(s) to their inventory Amcom, AdamDirect, Soul, OnTheNet, TSN.

In other similar news, Channel 7 has reached critical mass to buy out that beast known as Unwired. They have 90% shareholding and can compulsory acquire the remains off the protesting shareholders.

It looks like Channel 7 might have a metro WiMAX network to roll out afterall, to push its TiVO box and then perhaps retail ISP services on the network as well (more bucks in the bank).

I’m curious on Austar’s moves, and whether OPEL are gonna buy its spectrum, or whether there will be a bidding fight between Optus and Seven for what amounts to the regional areas of coverage.

Surely Seven will want to go national with its offering, and OPEL want that spectrum to get its WiMAX network up if it decides against the 5Ghz band.

The alternative could be they work together, with OPEL building the nework, and Seven using the network for its services as well. Makes sense.

Interesting times lay ahead with the sparks that are going to start a fire for 2008 and 2009.


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