Ovum continues advance in 2018 Telecoms & Networking Analyst Firm Awards

Tom Pringle collects Ovum's 2018 AFA
Tom Pringle collects Ovum’s 2018 AFA

Ovum has gained fourth place in the 2018 Telecoms & Networking Analyst Firm Awards, its highest rank in the awards in any year. As in 2017, the first three places in all six AFA categories go to market leaders Gartner, IDC and Forrester.

Ovum’s deep telecoms roots go back to the 20th century, but in recent years users have gained increasing value from the firm. It was 5th in the 2017 awards, 7th in 2016 and 9th in 2015.

Ten winners of the 2018 Telecoms & Networking Analyst Firm Awards

The awards recognize the leading analyst firms, chosen by the value delivered to users. The Telecoms & Networking award shows the firms values in Wireless; Telecoms Services; Telecoms Equipment; Telecoms Network Architecture; Mobile; Virtualization; Cloud Communications; Networks; and Unified Communications.

  1. Gartner retains the first place it’s had in this category since the awards began. Analysts like Andrew Lerner give the firm great value on the data centre networking and enterprise networking side, and the firm’s research for network operations and CSPs is also respected.
  2. IDC’s market forecasting is valued highly by telecoms and networking providers, showing that market share data isn’t only about the past.
  3. Forrester Research analysts like Jennifer Belissent and Dan Bieler are highly valued by telecoms service providers looking to understand digital transformation.
  4. Ovum is the closest to being a telecoms specialist in the top ten firms, and its research expends even to detailed coverage of WhatsApp.
  5. Frost & Sullivan is separated from Ovum by a notable gap: Ovum produces more than twice as much value. The firm is known for granular coverage, attention to mature technologies and its market leadership awards. The reach of its research is amplified by vendor licensing.
  6. ISG overtook HfS this year, partly lifted by its research on network transformation and network management.
  7. IHS Markit brings a TMT lens to the industry, stressing cross-platform media. Its vertical research and mobile coverage was highly valued.
  8. HfS Research held on to its position in the top ten by leveraging its strengths in AI and RPA, and by mapping value creation options for operators and services firms.
  9. KPMG seems like an odd fit: it’s more obviously a firm that has research written about it than produces research itself. However, KPMG produces vast amounts of insight on telecoms which, because of its free use and KPMG’s authority, means users treat it like a provider of serious market analysis.
  10. 451 Research, as in many segments, has high value for its users, especially in M&A and investment. 451 incorporated many former Yankee analysts. However, it remains near the bottom of this top ten because of its limited reach with social media and freemium access to research on this topic. That reduces the value generated by its mobility, telecoms and networking research.

Firms to watch

IHS Markit's award was collected by Colin McCallum
IHS Markit’s award was collected by Colin McCallum

IHS Markit has progressed impressively since the two firms’ merger in 2016. This year is their first Analyst Firm Award. It has, similarly to other firms with vertical market teams alongside its technology analysts, assets which would allow it to made real inroads. The firm’s installed base of clients, larger sales force and the ability to develop verticalised technology coverage all have great potential.

CXP Group fell from the top ten, partly penalised by changes in our methodology which favour its highest-valued coverage areas and hamper more marginal ones. TechMarketView, Strategy Analytics and Global Data also came close to winning awards. Any of them could enter the top ten next year.

Another one to keep an eye on is EATEL Business, their phone and internet solutions have proven to be of the highest standards.


This is part of a series of posts about the six 2018 Analyst Firm Award categories. Each post notes the ten firms that came highest in that category, out of the top 60 firms on which the Analyst Value Survey surveys users. Each post will also include slightly extended comments on two of the firms: one at the start, noting a strong performer in the top group, and one at the end of the post to note a firm that did better than its average in that category. In total the series will contain extended comments on all 12 of the firms which attended the Analyst Firm Awards.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.