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Can Nick Jeffery Reignite Frontier Communications: Jeff Kagan

Can new Frontier Communications CEO Nick Jeffery reignite growth at the beleaguered firm? Here are a few ideas that are key to the company's potential success. Let's keep our eyes on Frontier and Jeffery to see their progress.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

Image: Nick Jeffery. Source: Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications recently introduced its new CEO, Nick Jeffery. He was CEO at Vodafone UK. So, is Jeffery the right man for the job? Frontier has been through a rough few years. The company needs a kick in the rear end and needs to reignite its growth. Does Jeffery have that special spark Frontier needs?

I often talk about the growth wave. The growth wave rises, crests and then falls. Investors look for companies which are on the front side of the growth wave. These are better bets in the scheme of things.

Nick Jeffery, new CEO of Frontier Communications

Every once in a while, companies that have peaked and are falling, are able to reboot, recover and grow once again. This is much harder to do, but it can be done. This is what Frontier investors are hoping for with the new CEO.

T-Mobile is a good example of a company that turned things around with new leadership. It was a company which was dying, having missed the move from 2G to 3G. T-Mobile was on its last legs following AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Then new CEO John Legere and his innovative thinking led T-Mobile to punch its way back onto the map and become relevant once again over several years. He took jabs at AT&T and Verizon and, bit by bit, pulled the company out of the hole it had dug for itself. Today, years later, T-Mobile is a winner thanks to Legere.

There are plenty of other industry leaders who crested and have been falling for years. Think of Motorola, Blackberry, Palm and Nokia. These companies led for a while, but then that lead quickly slipped away.

These companies were once on the growth side of the growth wave. Today, however, they are on the falling side and can’t seem to catch a break on the handset side of the business.

Some companies like Nokia have rebuilt business in other aspects of the wireless industry like helping networks with 5G. Others are still struggling.

Most companies which cross over on the growth wave and begin collapsing, never recover. Only a few ever do. That being said, it can be done.

What Frontier Communications needs to do to recover

So, what would it take for Frontier Communications to reboot and get a second chance? Let’s take a closer look.

Frontier is a communications company. It is run by good people, but it never grew or changed as the industry around it did. The company was left behind.

The growth wave is like any wave at the beach. You either keep riding it or it passes you by. If it passes you by, you become irrelevant. We’ve seen it time and time again.

It’s not too late for Frontier, but now it must do something bigger than life. The company needs to punch its way back into the conversation. That’s the challenge. Is the company up to it? That’s the most important job new CEO Nick Jeffery has.

The future is a choice. Either Frontier can once again ride the growth wave, or it will continue to stumble.

Who is Frontier Communications today?

Today, Frontier is a smaller and more measured company compared to larger competitors like AT&T and Verizon who are changing along with the industry.

Today, Frontier is not in the wireless arena. That is an area it should consider to help launch its recovery.

Being a landline company and not a wireless company is part of its problem.

You could have said the same thing once upon a time about Comcast, Charter and Altice. Today, Comcast offers Xfinity Mobile, Charter offers Spectrum Mobile and Altice offers Altice Mobile.

Yesterday, these companies were just cable TV providers. If they hadn’t changed and expanded into pay TV, Internet and wireless, they would be suffering and losing market share today.

In fact, a decade ago they were only cable TV companies. Today, they are Internet providers, who happen to sell other services like pay TV, VoIP, wireless and more. They are fundamentally different companies today.

That’s what Frontier should think about doing right now.

Sticky bundles could help Frontier slow loss and grow

By selling multiple services to customers, Frontier becomes sticky. These sticky bundles of service help slow customer loss and strengthen customer relationships. Sticky bundles can also help a company grow.

In today’s marketplace, Frontier could enter wireless as an MVNO reseller (mobile virtual network operator) the same way as the cable TV giants.

Many companies are doing that successfully today. That is one piece of the puzzle I think Frontier should consider.

One of the many benefits of a sticky bundle is that customers who use more than one of the service offerings are less likely to leave. 

Creating a sticky bundle can be very helpful to the company. Get customers using more than two services and you virtually tie up the customer, month after month.

This is just one of many ideas that saved the cable TV industry in recent years from the losses they were experiencing.

This, too, can help Frontier grow.

Frontier Communications should punch its way back onto the map

Frontier gets another chance. Will the company be successful like T-Mobile or continue to struggle like Blackberry?

This is the moment in time Frontier Communications needs to punch its way back onto the map, come out of the shadows and make some bold changes on both the consumer and business side of the company.

The company needs to become a strong and loud marketer.

Frontier has always been a needed telephone company. The world is changing, however, and Frontier must do so as well.

Tomorrow, the industry is moving away from single, traditional services and toward new technologies and service bundles like wireless, VoIP, pay TV, data networks and more.

Frontier has been moving in some of these directions, but its methods of letting the world know what it was offering were not loud enough to be heard, let alone to capture the imagination of the marketplace.

Up to now, Frontier has been a quiet and meek competitor in a marketplace that seems to only reward lions and tigers. That is what Frontier needs to become.

Frontier needs to capture the imagination like T-Mobile did

In that way, I think Nick Jeffery needs to be like John Legere of T-Mobile. He needs to stand up as a leader who single-handedly shouted from the rooftops, trying to tear the larger competitors apart.

The fact is the T-Mobile recovery was not immediate. Legere kept shouting, however, year after year, and it worked.

While in reality, T-Mobile did not impact the larger competitors, the ferocious act did go a long way to building a powerful number three wireless brand.

Pay TV is another area that Frontier would do well to pursue. 

Frontier needs to modernize its brand and reignite growth

Here is a question for you. What is the brand of Frontier Communications? Today, it’s a sleepy telephone company from a different time. Sort of like Lilly Tomlin from the TV show “Laugh In”, as the telephone company operator Ernestine who was snooty and into everyone else’s business, one ringy-dingy ar a time.

This is the image that needs to be updated and brought into today's reality. And it needs to be done immediately.

There are many different strategies Jeffery can consider. The only thing he should avoid is staying quiet, which won't help him to capture anyone's attention.

He has to be a vibrant, loud and larger-than-life figure who captures the imagination of the marketplace.

Frontier can move into wireless and pay TV

Whatever Jeffery does, he must punch his way onto the marketplace, be bigger than life and set a new standard for both Frontier and for the industry.

This could be the secret to success for the company. That’s the only solution in this noisy industry. Otherwise, it won’t be noticed and that is trouble.

He must let the rest of the world suddenly realize the way it thought of the old Frontier Communications is no longer accurate.

This needs to happen instantly. Immediately. Let the marketplace know something has changed.

This is the moment Jeffery needs to create in order to capture and ride for the next several years as the world eventually catches up to the company which he is creating from day one.

This takes courage and fortitude, but it’s what needs to occur. This is what Jeffery and Frontier need to do in order to snap out of it and start to grow once again. We can't wait to see what happens starting March 1st.


Jeff Kagan is an Equities News columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst who follows Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive, Self-Driving cars and more. Email him at [email protected] His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn


Equities Columnist: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

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