Someone needs to wake up the Telecom Carriers. There is a light at the end of their Internet Tubes, but it is the oncoming train that is about to hit them and throw them off the track.
Sure, they are still cash cows for their owners, but every good thing comes to an end eventually and the smart guys prepare for it. Carriers make money from Data, Voice & Content. This is changing fast. Lets have a quick look why.
Voice. If you are old enough, you may remember the days that we paid our ISP or carrier for email. Long gone. Free email providers and free browsers changed that. Voice is on the same path. A few years ago, some people sat down and asked — browsers support most internet activity right out of the box, why not telecommunications? They (read Google & others) then went out and established WebRealTimeCommunications (aka WebRTC) standard. Now all you need to make a phone or video call is a WebRTC supported browser (Chrome, Firefox etc.) No longer matters who your carrier is, you can buy phone services from anyone. Strike One. Carrier Free Voice.
Data. Carriers have an hold on us, since we need to buy our data from them even if we get our services through OTT (over the top) applications — right? Apple says wrong. Most people outside of the IP Comms community missed it, but Apple announced last week that they will be providing an Apple (carrier neutral) Sim. In the future you will be able to change carriers as you please directly from the Apple Carrier Store. Strike Two. Carrier Free Data.
Content. Broadcasters need the Carriers for distribution — right? HBO and CBS say no. This is only the beginning. Just as many authors are now going the self publishing route, many content owners will do the same. Strike Three. Carrier Free Content.
Three Strikes and you are out? Well not exactly. Someone still needs to build and maintain those pipes…
On a more serious note though, there is still plenty that innovative carriers can do, they just need to wake up.