Ring! Ring! Monday News Analysis - 22nd October
US telcos who participated in illegal surveillance aren't out of the woods yet; Senator Chris Dodd plans to filibuster the act granting them immunity. Remember that the Foreign Intelligence Supervision Act provides that each subscriber in the US could individually sue....that's a chunk of change. Here's the Senator in his own words.
Digital Politics and Regulation
Spanish MNOs in trouble with the law; accused of operating a cartel.
Telco 2.0 Comment: Voda.es, Movistar, and Orange.es are accused of having colluded to keep prices up after the regulator forced them to stop rounding up all calls to the nearest minute for billing purposes. It's one way of capturing value from status-update calls; but not recommended.
Row of the week; Comcast starts zapping BitTorrent users.
Telco 2.0 Comment: Killer detail - they're doing it the same way the Chinese censors spork websites carrying data they don't like, by sending fake TCP RST messages. Adjust your iptables accordingly. Better yet, Comcast doesn't actually have a rule against torrent users. Huge amounts of discussion are on NANOG.
Digital Product Innovation
GSMA, Western Union in tie-up.
Telco 2.0 Comment: The rush into the mobile payments/money transfer sphere is well under way. Wonder if the Vodafone/Safaricom M-PESA system will get incorporated into this?New Zealand startup offers mobile content marketplace for all.
Telco 2.0 Comment: OTT watch - if you don't build the platform someone else will. Now it's happening - Veoveo essentially lets you upload anything mobilewise and charge for it, promising to start paying out once you've sold £20 worth (a damn sight better than network operators' e-commerce activities). Cash is collected by credit/debit card, PayPal, and Google Checkout. It'll be interesting to see what they offer in the way of APIs, widgets and such.
T-Mobile.uk sues Logica over their web portal; new Logica boss wishes they hadn't got out of the telecoms business.
Telco 2.0 Comment: You want hopelessly sclerotic development processes? You got'em. It's taken T-Mobile's British operation and Logica two years to relaunch T-Mobile's website. Meanwhile, Andy Green's remarks remind us of something mentioned at the Telco 2.0 conference last week; much as people say telecoms is a dull, staid business, even if the whole ad business was conquered by telcos it wouldn't actually change our numbers very much because we're vastly bigger than ads and Hollywood put together.
Telco 2.0 Strategy
Telco 2.0 Comment: World domination is within sight; as long as they can navigate their tricky relationship with the operators, that is...just compare the competition.
Telco 2.0 Comment: Profitability falling, tough competition, and money going down the great hole marked "free broadband"...
Telco 2.0 Comment: More barriers fall. It is getting very hard indeed to ignore the potential WiMAX challenge.
Telco 2.0 Comment: MII - the Ministry of the Information Industry, if you're not up on telecoms politics in China - has usually been assumed to be stalling on 3G licences in the hope that the locally developed TD-SCDMA system will be ready by then, something which has been frequently delayed. Interestingly, Lou Qianjin, the deputy minister, is now saying there "is no clear business model" for 3G services. Needs more Telco 2.0 in his life?
Telco 2.0 Comment: Symmetric connectivity is good.