There are several items from today's sessions to write about, but not enough time right now… So let me talk about my closing presentation, just completed and apparently well received. Here is a copy:
I was “assigned” the title and choose to use it to talk about telecom economics, suggest when mobile "dumb pipes" may emerge, and then examine what we can learn from the economics of successful Internet applications that might be relevant to the evolving mobile industry.
In high tech, the word “disruption” was popularized by Clayton Christensen’s 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma, but for today’s discussion I used the material I wrote about in this earlier blog post.
I tied the ideas to mobile broadband which, today, is still limited by technology thus vertical integration (and walled gardens) remain the norm. Once 3G or 4G technology is able to provide “enough” mobile broadband capacity, there will be strong pressure to offer “dumb pipes.” Unlike the fixed access market where regulation, legislation and lobbying dominate, mobile is a competitive industry, so once the technology can support adequate dumb pipes, they are bound to emerge.
People who say “the operators will never allow themselves to be marginalized” don’t understand that this decision is not under management control. If mobile VoIP begins to significantly impact mobile revenues, those operators who don’t find a way to split themselves up, will be restructured by corporate raiders, just as the steel industry, the auto industry, etc. have been restructured in recent decades.
There's a lot more in the presentation which I'd be happy to discuss if anyone inquires.