Shocking, Massive Changes Coming for Telecom

Not often is a slow-moving industry confronted by cataclysmic rates of change. But that is precisely what the telecom industry faces now. "Massive consolidation" and "spectacular change" are the ways Capgemini has characterized what is coming.
One example of the rate of change: Where today there are 800 telcos globally, by 2025 only about 105 will still exist, says Bell Labs. So within a decade, the industry will see the most-shocking consolidation in its history.
For most of its history, telecommunications was a monopoly, expensive and used by relatively few people. That meant one set of regulatory and policy issues, mostly centered on how to manage prices in a slow-moving utility industry.
All that changed in the late 1980s, when a global wave of privatization and competition began to take shape. For the first time, the policy framework shifted to ways to dismantle the monopoly regime and replace it with competitive markets.
source: ITU
We are entering another new …

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Overbuilder Business Model Still is Tough, Even When You Win

Perhaps few overbuilders have been as optimistic as Google Fiber about prospects for beating cable companies and telcos at the internet access game, but even Google seems to have found out how expensive and difficult the access game can be.

Tucows, an overbuilder constructing gigabit internet access networks in a number of mid-sized towns, believes it eventually will reach 50 percent adoption rates (the adoption, or penetration rate, is the percent of homes in an area that are customers) in its markets after five years, a stunning figure that has been seen once or twice in U.S. overbuilder markets, but an achievement that  remains quite rare.
At that level, an overbuilder would become the likely leader in its market.
Even expectations for the immediate future are healthy. “We expect to see 20 percent adoption among serviceable addresses in a year and 50 percent in five years,” says  Elliot Noss, Tucows CEO. Generally speaking, an overbuilder with 20-percent share and control of its oper…

Enterprise Customers More Satisfied than Small Business Customers (No Surprise)

Small businesses are significantly less satisfied with their telecom providers than large enterprise customers, the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study reports.
Small business customers face longer customer service wait times, lower problem resolution rates and less dedicated account support, all of which contribute to lower overall satisfaction with their telecom providers, J.D. Power says.
“Dedicated account support,” as many of you would guess, is part of the reason. Customers who have an account representative assigned to their business have notably higher levels of overall satisfaction  (834) than those who contact a general call center (751).
Customers with a representative also have a more positive brand image of their provider and are more likely to characterize their telecom company as customer focused. Large enterprise customers are most likely to have an account representative (61 percent), of course.
The widest gaps in satisfaction between large enterpr…

China Targets $150 Billion Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem by 2030

Governmental policies designed to foster a particular industry are not unusual in East Asia or elsewhere, so it is not too surprising that artificial intelligence (AI) now is the target for China, as the State Council has set a goal of becoming a “global innovation center” for AI  by 2030.

The value of artificial intelligence industries should surpass 1 trillion yuan ($147.80 billion) by that point, the State Council says. That is an ambitious goal, given some current projections of total market size by 2024, if only AI software and systems are counted.
But the State Council forecast clearly includes the value of all economic output driven by AI, not just the value of AI itself. That is akin to valuing the impact of e-commerce by adding up the retail value of all products and goods moved through that channel. You can get big numbers pretty quickly.
By 2020, almost every new software product …

An Industry You Might Not Recognize is Coming

A world and an industry you might not recognize is coming.

New Censtorship Threats to Internet

Though the relationship is not entirely linear or always obvious, commercial freedom is related to political freedom.
Consider network neutrality. The original thinking by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was that internet freedom (commercial freedom of app and content providers) required “no blocking” of all lawful content.
Ironically, some might argue, later extensions of network neutrality actually work to suppress the commercial freedom of some entities to promote the “freedom” of others (app providers “win,” access providers “lose”)
Now court decisions are highlighting another problem: actual blocking of content that might be lawful in one country, because it is unlawful in another (or potentially in another country).
The Google v. Equustek Solutions case in Canada started out as a “simple” trademark case, in which Equustek claimed that another company was infringing on its trademarks online.
But a Canadian court ruled that Google (not a direct party in the case) had to…