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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bitterness in terminology = Obvious losers

Ever noticed the increasingly bitter & derogatory of many words used in the telecoms industry? Usually when referring to potential competitive / substitutive concepts.

Let's not understand and embrace/extend innovation, or call it meaningful terms like "independent", let's sneer at it instead:

Off-deck / off-portal = "Our content is the centre of the universe. Why would people want to venture into nasty world outside the garden?"

Over-the-Top Applications = "How dare these nasty clever Internet people use the connections our customers pay for, to compete with our beautiful vertically-integrated & expensive services"

Terminal = "What do you mean that device has a 400MHz processor & can think for itself about how it wants to use the network? We grew up with mainframes & Class 5 switches, and frankly, we'd prefer all mobile phones, er terminals, still came with a green-screen"

Dumb Pipe = "I can't believe any of our customers would ever demand a plain-vanilla access service. And therefore I'm absolutely sure that in a market economy, nobody will ever want to supply them & meet that clear need".


MIkeB said...

Absolutely. From the carrier perspective, they are realising as the mobile becomes more important as a data device, that they hold more cards here and can block and obstruct as they used to do in the past pre internet. Some carriers more than other (verizon = benevolent dictator = 'we know what's best for you'.... to cingular = which is more open [but still not really open])

That along with the inherent limitations and variety in mobile devices, makes the evolution a lot slower.

In an ideal world, carriers would indeed be the dumb pipes (much as they were in the early days of the internet), where networks and devices were open and innvoation could proceed at it's own pace.

Slightly off topic rant, but this situation enables the carrier mindset which you note.

In the long term, my view of carriers is they becomes equivalent to gas / electric / water suppliers. Manage deep infrastructure for a nominal return. Don't deceive themselves or impede others by thinking they are in the innovation business :-)

Anonymous said...

lovely stuff...check out my latest note...if they dont do something radical soon..they are toast...richard windsor