How big is your moat?

We don't want to spend too, too much time discussing how difficult things are for telecom equipment vendors these days, yet it seems like there's a new report or a new piece of analysis almost every day that reminds us of the various pressures on the vendors (carrier consolidation, greater separation between the largest and smallest vendors, etc.)

Investor research firm Morningstar is the latest, having just updated its moat ratings (measurements of sustainable competitive advantages) for major equipment vendors. The analysis may not come as a surprise--giving big boys like Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens the widest moats--but offers insight on the investor's perspective of the telecom industry.

Mid-sized vendors have been insisting since AT&T bought BellSouth that there is still room for them in major carrier accounts, but it sound like they still need to prove that to the people recommending stock-buying strategies (not that anyone is buying anything lately).

For more:
- Here's more on Morningstar's analysis

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