Elastic Telecom networks: a path towards cellular network virtualization

Over the last few months we saw two big announcements for Telecom consolidation in the US from the 3rd and 4th largest carriers. Is this a surprise or what? By all means it is not – I have been busy lately studying demand and supply curves for my micro-economics class (part of my MBA program) and viola – this all makes perfect sense! It is all due to the economy of scale – the larger the firm is the better it is able to supply the service needed at a better rate (meaning lesser dollars!). The one graphic that is always hurting the budgets for carriers is the ARPU distribution and the long tail economics.

So what will happen over the next few years is a change from selling voice and data for MNOs to service enablers. This requires several market plays which require – two main factors investment dollars and partnerships with several niche market players and this will allow MNOs to move into the VAS space. (more…)

Net neutrality and 4G Networks

The media is on fire talking about how Google has surrendered the net-neutrality pledge and gone with the carriers, but there are technical reasons how it is the carrier-way or the highway. FCC last year set forth three rules – Providers can’t favor their own content, Providers need to explain variable speeds and Providers cannot limit access to lawful content, which Comcast had it overturned in court. Though FCC might posses the power to make rules on net-neutrality, albeit it is the technologies that control the flow of traffic which will decide how much of content delivery is neutral after all! (more…)

Telecom Space Redefined

Broadband is re-defining the way technology is being deployed and who is playing a major role. The operators of the yore like – AT&T, Verizon are slowly giving way to spectrum holding partnerships like – Clearwire, Harbinger, etc. Cellular services are getting commoditized and networks of the future will become dumb pipes, through which services instead of just voice and data will be optimally delivered based on tiered pricing and Quality of service. Pay per minute and pay per megabyte will become a delivery mechanism for many operators, as user habits keep changing. Subscribers have become content generators from content consumers with social networking and micro blogging; and with smart phones making a plethora of applications that make use of data pipes similar to PCs, the trend will only keep increasing. (more…)

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