The news from the European Commission (EC) regarding the results of its investigations into the launch of Apple’s music streaming service appears to be good news for consumers. According to a report in Recode, which cited four sources with knowledge of the matter, the Commission “failed to find evidence of collusion among the major music labels and Apple to quash free music streaming services such as those offered by Spotify.” Read More →
The future of wireless is one where we are, in fact, less connected. That was the conclusion of Tim Rundle, an industrial designer from Conran and Partners, who was speaking at Cambridge Wireless’ annual conference last month.
While the usual debates about IoT, 5G, NFV – all the buzzwords! – seemed to throw up nothing radically new – bar the audience conclusion on the final day that, essentially, 5G was a massive waste of time (as one attendee said: “I’m not sure what 5G isn’t”) – the idea of disconnecting was probably the most forward-thinking proposal to come out of the event.
I’ve been talking about Sponsored Data as a business model a lot lately – and I’ve largely focused on zero-rating, or iterations of that model, as an approach because it’s one that US operator, AT&T, has shined a spotlight on in the West.
In the East, things are different. Chinese operators are ahead of the curve – collaborating with high profile digital players to design Sponsored Data services that have been well-received by the local market. It is an established and successful model, but it’s just one approach that operators in the East are taking to data monetization.
Many have compared telcos’ transformation from pure-play telco to digital players as a metamorphosis. You can see why: the weak, bloated caterpillar (telco) emerging from the chrysalis, reborn as a strong and beautiful butterfly (digital player). A fair analogy but one that perhaps does little to convey the massive pressure that telcos are under to transform the business model. Think, perhaps, instead, of the bullish caterpillar, preparing to emerge from its chrysalis, as spiders build webs all around it, ready for the butterfly to flap straight in to! Read More →
Fi is Google’s own wireless network, officially launched last month. The company has partnered with US operators T-Mobile and Sprint, using their infrastructure to become an MVNO. Not only does Google provide the operating system (Android) and hardware (the Nexus 6), now the company will provide network connectivity as well. The service will leverage existing WiFi networks, and switch to the carrier networks only when Wi-Fi isn’t available. This approach to mobile communications is what some are calling ‘Wi-Fi First’.
Recent developments in the telecom industry are increasingly making telecom operators more and more redundant. Operators are struggling to stay relevant in the transforming value chain. What is the solution?
Operators are constantly being told that they need to up their game if they want to remain relevant in the digital economy, and fundamentally alter their business model to maintain a foothold in the value chain.
Articles (very like this one!) urge MNOs to become fully-fledged digital service providers (DSPs), while at the same time acknowledging that no one has a game plan for achieving this. Whatever strategy operators ultimately adopt to put themselves at the centre of this emerging ecosystem, becoming a digital telco requires a huge effort and big scale implementation. So, what’s a feasible stepping-stone for getting there? Read More →
Operators are feeling the pincer effect of a disconnected business model that requires vast investment in the network, just as revenues from voice and messaging services are diminishing.
The solution to this dilemma is twofold: reduce the cost of the network, while providing increased capacity, and seeking new sources of revenue. Operators are already finding ways to initially transition from backbone and connectivity provider to capitalize on emerging digital economy opportunities.
Working at AsiaInfo, it stands to reason that I would promote China as a centre of innovation.
It would be remiss if I didn’t believe that China was leading the way in the mobile Internet; creating credible – and, more importantly, profitable – solutions to the challenges operators in the West are now facing.
I put my hands up: I’m bias.