With the release of the FCC report last month on the outlook for wireless for the next year, the picture doesn’t seem to be as dismal as so many other sectors like Housing, Banking etc. But the last three years have made an impact that will be here to stay and has shaped the way people spend and MNOs spend their budgets. As an engineer who has worked at three levels – Corporate, Regional and Markets I understand the decisions that are made solely based on economic merits that impact the network and the customers. Understanding the economics is harder for me as an engineer as technological advantages and not short-term cash flow savings make sense in a longer run. But economics play a bigger role than any engineering marvel as most MNOs are for-profit organizations and run solely based on ARPU, Churn and EBIDTA (Interest before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). The current stagflation and recession has taken a toll on the mindset of the customer and their spending habit..
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…)