At a time when many communications companies and the analysts who cover them think there is no future for their consumer businesses, a new survey by Mercer Management Consulting finds pent-up demand for next-generation consumer services that represent an important opportunity for profitable growth.

John Hanson, a Mercer director who led the consulting firm's study entitled "Next-Generation Demand for Communications Services," comments that with broadband and wireless now widespread, consumers are reevaluating ideas that once seemed impractical and futuristic in narrowband. He states that the industry should follow their lead and take a fresh look as well. "There are new services, each with 10 percent to 15 percent penetration or higher, which could materially change the economics of the current telecom and cable companies," Hanson says.

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