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Ring! Ring! Monday News Analysis - 1st October

Digital Product Innovation

Here’s an example of negative product innovation: an Apple software update that kills hacked iPhones. Hacking was once defined as unauthorised innovation; all third-party apps, among other things, are eliminated by the patch. So all the enthusiasm that oozes out of that video is now going to waste, or else turning to virus-building bitterness..

Telco 2.0 Comment: Apple’s decision to bundle its own services with the iPhone made it rather less like a computer company and rather more like a telco. Fascinatingly, it’s now behaving in a way that shows all the worst features of telcos.

Brough Turner asks: why are mobile subscriber forecasts usually too low? He thinks it’s because the limit on subscribers placed by poverty keeps getting lower.

Telco 2.0 Comment: This is a key point in preparations for our Broadband Business Models 2.0 report - clearly, the GSM/UMTS growth curve will eventually top out, thus demanding a model change in order to develop the business further. But the exact timing is a very difficult question to answer indeed.

Emergent Business Models

MVNOs are harder than you think: after ESPN, now Disney Mobile joins the deadpool.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Even a brand like DIsney couldn’t do it. Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? N-O-K I-A D-E-V-I-C-E! Note that Tesco Mobile continues to succeed because its brand provides something useful rather than just glamour - a huge distribution system.

Technology Disruptions

A cautionary tale about CDNs from Emil at Renesys…

Telco 2.0 Comment: This is what happens when you disrupt your own technology!

Similarly, Vodafone’s roaming service experiences trouble.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Voda blames a “third-party carrier” for this, presumably their international backbone provider. Probably nothing to do with the BSS/OSS problems.

Broadband Connectivity

New Zealand goes for the Openreach model; structural separation.

Telco 2.0 Comment: There’s a reason why we keep going on about this (see video here). BT and Ofcom’s policy entrepreneurship has breached a logjam in terms of re-imagining the telco business model, and now we’ll see a lot more of this. See also. Although business model innovation probably doesn’t include buying Sprint. However, we will have the people behind Openreach at the Telco2.0 Executive Brainstorm.

O2 launches cheaper mobile Web.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Well, having turned up EDGE to welcome the iPhone, you wouldn’t want to bill all those gadget freaks every time the mail client syncs. It’s still far from a great deal, though; 200MB for £7.50.

Cogent breaks the Internet - again! It’s another of those peering disputes…but the killer detail is that they depeered a CDN (Content Delivery Network), Limelight.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Is anyone else struggling to understand this? The point of a CDN like Limelight is that it shifts the burden of heavy content (video and software updates, for example) off the backbone fibre and into the local network. Cogent is exclusively a backbone transit provider; so if traffic out of Limelight is pushing their peering ratios out of kilter, does this mean that a lot of Limelight CDN output isn’t CDNing properly? Alternatively, it could be the content going into Limelight; but Cogent’s business model is based on marketing heavily to content producers on price. Cogent stands to profit from content going to Limelight. So what the hell is going on?

Digital Politics and Regulation

Censorship furore at Verizon Wireless: carrier revealed to be filtering SMS traffic after abortion campaign alerts mysteriously vanished.

Telco 2.0 Comment: You may not like net neutrality, but things like this ought to show why other people like it. Especially given Verizon exec Tom Tauke’s past as a Republican congressman…
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