This article explores the change in strategic behaviour of telecommunication operators since the mid‐1990s. It notes how the balance of power has shifted back to incumbent operators as a result of a combined flight to quality and profitability by users and investors respectively. These changes in the commercial environment are explored through the strategic changes undertaken at Colt Telecom, notably as it has moved from an offensive to a defensive position in the market place. The article concludes by examining the likely future options for Colt in the light of a protracted glut of capacity within the European telecommunications system.
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