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The rising importance of the Internet and data services, combined with the gradual decline of the much older voice business, is creating threats and opportunities for telecoms network operators in almost equal measure. While data traffic revenue could more than compensate for the decline of voice, the networks needed to support them are costly to build. In the mobile broadband market, levels of usage are also putting a huge strain on capacity and threatening profitability. Perhaps the biggest threat to operators, however, comes from the so-called over-the-top players that the former's own networks have allowed to flourish. Although these companies, through their online services, are attracting new users to the networks, they often play a bigger role than operators would like.
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