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December 3, 2010

M2M doomed to remain a cottage industry?


Is the machine-to-machine market doomed to remain a cottage industry dominated by overpriced SMS? Delegates at the ‘M2M 2.0’ session at the 11th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in London last month were quite clear what the problems, opportunities, and solutions are.

m2m-delegates.png
As this chart shows, the biggest barriers to greater adoption of M2M were the costs of switching between operators, the technical and commercial interfaces between operators and customers, and the lack of global solutions for seamless and economic roaming.

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March 27, 2009

iFlood: How better mobile user interfaces demand Layer Zero openness

Networks guru Andrew Odlyzko recently estimated that a typical mobile user consumes 20MB of data a month for voice service, but that T-Mobile Netherlands reports their iPhone users consuming 640MB of data a month; so upgrading everyone to the Jesus Phone would increase the demand for IP bandwidth on cellular networks by a factor of 30.

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January 25, 2009

The High Road and the Low Road to Fibre

Telco 2.0 ally Brough Turner points everyone to an interesting story from Lahore in Pakistan, where not only can you get fibre to the home, but it’s cheap as well. It’s well worth reading.

Essentially, the government and the incumbent telco don’t know or can’t enforce their control of the right-of-way, which means that they have effective Layer Zero openness. Anybody can, in practice, string cable from the existing power and telephony poles; and it turns out that quite a lot do. Using basic IT gear, they place cheap Ethernet switches on the poles and run Cat5 or 6 cable into their customers’ homes, then get an aggregator to link the whole thing to a PC running an open source router implementation and a fibre-optic cable to their HQ.

The Low Road: Rawalpindi The Low Road in Rawalpindi. (Flickr user temp 13rec.)

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January 14, 2009

Credit Crunch (Part 6): Happy New Deal!

Below is the sixth article in our series on the Credit Crunch and its effect on the TMT sector (previous here). We note that telecom stocks are weakening versus the market, but opportunities look likely from government fiscal stimulus packages, especially around ‘Smart Grids’.

Anyone expecting a change in tone from the economy to start 2009 was wildly optimistic. The situation is deteriorating, and telecom will come under pressure. The stock market’s feeble attempt at a rally over the past month has landed telecom in third quartile, in keeping with our views.

However, telcos should resist the knee-jerk reaction to cut personnel and investment - there are interesting opportunities on the horizon from fiscal stimulus programs. Remaining focused on, staffed for, and invested for the longer term opportunities is key.

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November 24, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 24th November, 2008

In Today’s Issue: Internet forecast wars on again; Odlyzko fights the nonsense; experimental high-def YouTube, and how to get it; BT: OFCOM ate my homework; Amazon’s CDN has landed; Telefonica wants a spaceship or two; T-Mobile UK is down; T-Systems blows the German secret service’s cover; VZW peeks at BHO’s CDRs; SearchWiki, another Google web-hoover; Ubuntu for mobiles; Lotus Notes for Nokia; Nokia and Yahoo!; Nokia and TD-SCDMA, possible faster Chinese rollout; HOWTO manage devices OTA in S60; GPS SIMs coming; Qualcomm’s WLAN LBS; CTIA fights for lucrative convict market; Clearwire-Sprint JV signed, shares tank; Indian consolidation coming; T-Mobile USA’s digiframe comes with data but no music; a cautionary tale about age verification.

It’s another round in the Internet traffic forecast wars. The vendors’ side last week published research claiming that a coming exaflood would lead to “Internet brownouts”; as TelecomTV points out, not only did they use identical language to everyone else who’s predicted this over the last 16 years, but just as always, world authority Andrew Odlzkyo disagrees and is probably right (his MINTS project claims that backbone traffic actually fell recently).

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September 29, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 29th September 2008

In Today’s Issue: Bankers’ favourite BlackBerry bears brunt of banking bust; IBM and Salesforce.com, again; MSFT’s new Unified Comms server, works with Asterisk; Cisco launches Web-based unicomms with VZ; Dell’s business model diverges; Apple lawyers’ war on books. FACT!; Motorola deploys android hordes; HTC keeps on making Windows gadgets; funny prepaid broadband prices; awful EU telecoms bill defanged; roll-your-own MVNO; Joost and the browser plugin to end plugins; CWN vs Pirates; Roshan’s M-PESA deployment vs Taliban; Singapore’s fibre deployment, none more Telco 2.0; global M2M alliance formed

Crisis at RIM; the maker of BlackBerrys issued a profits warning for the fourth quarter, as thousands of bankers handed their company-issued devices over to the administrators, filed last-minute expense claims, and packed their belongings in the traditional cardboard box.

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August 4, 2008

BT fibre roll-out: Do the numbers add up?

BT is at last moving on fibre. This is of interest because BT don’t own a cellular network, and their current residential copper access network is functionally separated — a very ‘Telco 2.0’ horizontal model. Is it possible to make money on new network builds without complete vertical integration and a monopoly on services?

We dig into the numbers, and work out whether BT’s shareholders should be concerned, or delighted.

The details are more than a little sketchy at the moment, but we can be fairly certain of some points:

  1. Both FTTC and FTTH are in prospect.
  2. Speeds are to be “up to 100MBits/s” for the FTTH element, 40-60Mbits/s for the FTTC element.
  3. The service will be available wholesale.
  4. The project is costed at £1.5bn over five years.

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June 19, 2008

Prospects for FTTH in Britain: considered slow

So, with two major US carriers rolling out fibre to the home, a string of European cities doing the municipal-fibre thing, Iliad fibreing-up their own network in France, and Japan and Korea having long started wiring up whole apartment buildings, how soon will the UK get cracking? Telco 2.0 went to the Broadband Stakeholder Group’s conference to find out.

Background to the issue

The broadband incentive problem tells us how there’s little incentive for network owners to invest in networks when they can’t capture much of the incremental value of the traffic. One way out would be to make a radical cut in the underlying incremental costs of bandwidth, and to stretch budgets further. And that’s precisely what we’re seeing all over the world, as operators upgrade in order to substitute new CAPEX for old OPEX.

There are many ways of doing this: deploying fibre, DOCSIS 3 cable systems, and advanced wireless in the access loop; moving to technologies like Carrier Ethernet inside their networks; and substituting peering for transit whereever possible. Mobile operators are increasingly pulling fibre to their cell-sites in order to cope with a rising tide of data traffic encouraged by the arrival of megabit-plus radio links.

Verizon estimates that it saves up to 70% of OPEX on every link it converts to FiOS. So you’d think the pressure would be on to get the fibre out there in Britain, a country criss-crossed with high-maintenance copper in a damp climate. The UK is also perhaps the guinea pig for the broadband incentive problem. But FTTH is further behind in the UK than almost anywhere else in Europe. So far there is literally no SOHO fibre access anywhere in Britain. What’s going on?

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June 16, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 16th June 2008

In Today’s Issue: Mobile spam horror looms; Gyahoo will eat your ad business anyway; Nokia starts its own ad platform; open-source unicomms for prison warders shames telco engineers; roaming in Africa; Reding on the rampage again; Swedish military intervention; MTN-Reliance sporked by brothers’ brawl; Clearwire’s world domination plan; Nortel ducks for LTE; Sprint-powered jukebox; the end of WAP; Carphone in trouble; AT&T caps hogs; BT fibre - not all it’s cracked up to be; when number portability works too well

Computerworld asks - are we on the edge of a mobile advertising disaster comparable to the spam phenomenon? A close reading of the story would suggest that their definition of a disaster might be quite close to a mobile advertiser’s definition of success - however, Telco 2.0 would point out that in telco terms, advertising alone is just not that big a deal and operators need to look to facilitating a far wider set of interactions between users and enterprises.

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May 26, 2008

Profiting from gigawatts, not gigabytes

Reading about novel energy trading company EnerNOC, what sticks out is just how big the opportunity is for ‘Telco 2.0’ operators and business models. Remember, your job as a _personalised logistics services provider for valuable data_ is to help get the right information to the right place at the right time, securely, swiftly and cheaply. And rather than trying to squeeze an extra millicent of termination fees from the regulator, why not solve some problem in the world of energy instead?

One of the biggest barriers to making use of the huge quantities of energy the sun provides for free every day is reliability. The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. So, in most places, the most plentiful (and cheapest) forms of renewable energy are subject to a discount. They are not, as the electrical engineers say, despatchable. This is a serious problem, because electricity cannot be stored easily. Even without the added complexity of variable wind power, the grid has to match supply and demand in real time, all the time, whilst observing some very intricate technical constraints (pdf).

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April 28, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 28th April 2008

Meet JIL; that’s the Joint Innovation Lab, a project worked out between Vodafone and China Mobile that’s meant to establish standards for mobile widgetry. Apart from the obvious point that only telcos could come up with anything like a standards body for widgets, what’s the betting the standard turns out to be a lot like the Nokia Web Runtime?

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March 31, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 31st March 2008

In Today’s Issue: Motorola gossip: the demerger cometh; cablecos’ Comcast-Clearwire concert party; HOWTO deploy fibre in NZ?; here’s an answer from San Francisco; Symbian OS platform security is hacked; free WLAN in BA lounges; 3UK is profitable, pigs fly; another MVNO casualty; Virgin Mobile India “not an MVNO”; Miss Bimbo; $20 a month on ringtones; Cuba Movil!; Chinese 3G; really fast stuff; 3G iPhones; another startup-without-money.

Inside gossip at Motorola; someone claims to have been the Richard Kinder figure of their crisis and accuses Ed Zander of working their past CMO to death, and also playing too much golf. Which of these sins is more serious is left as an exercise for the reader. It was also this week that saw Moto finally take our repeated advice. They got rid of the handsets operation, thus leaving it “floating downwards to find its own level”, in the immortal words of Sir Norman Fowler describing the collapse of Sterling.

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March 17, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 17th March 2008

In Today’s Issue: Big Trouble over Phorm; no immunity for US telcos; mystery letters from Apple; iPhone hacked, cracked, and rehacked; 500 million Flash devices; unified comms drives datacentre demand; Deutsche Telekom looks at OTE; Sprint merger dread; Virgin Media USA suffers; Verizon does topological P2P; Safaricom IPO back on; BSNL looks for prepaid packet-pushing partners; Bharti Airtel looks for wholesale customers; broader broadband beats basic broadband

BT get caught over using personal data in Phorm trials: real customer data was used to test the system. The Phorm Ultimatum highlights two key considerations for any successful platform: privacy and rewards. The Pope of the Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee puts its succinctly:

It’s mine - you can’t have it. If you want to use it for something then you have to negotiate with me, I have to agree; I have to understand what I’m getting in return.

At the same time, the US telcos are back on the hook for illegal wiretapping after a new version of FISA, without immunity, passed the House of Representatives. It makes you wonder who you’d prefer to spy on you.

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January 14, 2008

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 14th January 2008

This year, we’re focusing on seven themes in the industry; Investment and Market Valuations, Disruptive Threats, Two-Sided Business Models (a key theme in the forthcoming Platforms report), Adjacent Markets, Core Products and End-User Needs, and of course Regulation. So these news posts will be centred around these concerns.

Despite everything, it looks like Sprint is going ahead with the big WiMAX rollout; launch is scheduled for mid-April, and a gaggle of new contracts have been issued to hardware vendors like ZyXEL. The mob that is the Apple fanbase is working itself up over the thought that this year’s Macworld might see the launch of a WiMAX-capable device of some sort — apparently they’ve got ad banners reading “There’s something in the air”. There’s conclusive evidence for you.

However, it’s true that Sprint is looking at bundling WiMAX connectivity with devices, just as it wraps EV-DO data in the price of the Amazon Kindle (“In Amazon, book reads you!”), so perhaps there’s something in it. Meanwhile, China Mobile doesn’t want the iPhone.

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December 17, 2007

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 17th December

Telco 2.0 Strategy

Structural separation? We don’t need no stinkin’ separation! So says Belgacom…

Telco 2.0 Comment: They built a VDSL network, and now their competitors want to play. Belgacom of course claims they took the risk and therefore should reap the rewards; but the biggest competitor is the company that laid the fibre already everywhere else, and now wants to offer unbundled service in the rest of the country. Will profits come from pleasing customers, or regulators?

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December 10, 2007

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 10th December

In Today’s Issue: Asia goes crazy for network sharing, plastic fibre, fixed-line videocalls (yes, really), Opera Mini conquers all, make a widget and win a Nokia N95, UMA gadget with 2GB storage, data centre heists, iFlop, BlackBerry WiFi on a plane, Nokia threatens UGC boom, new torrent tracker tech terror, free music, ads in P2P movies, and Telco 2.0 Recommends…

Broadband Connectivity

Vodafone, Bharti, Idea in monster network sharing deal.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Shared, structurally separated, and community-owned infrastructure is a major industry trend in responding to the broadband incentive problem. This deal is especially interesting due to its sheer size; India is getting a giant shared mobile infrastructure operator, which will probably draw in other carriers.

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December 3, 2007

Ring! Ring! Hot News, 3rd December

In Today’s Issue: 3.3bn Mobiles, Open VZW, 3UK sues the world, Peter Erskine spends more time with his money, another WiMAX outbreak, Japanese data prices tumble, Dutch fibre prices untumble a tad, Saudi Mobily buys huge IP network, Vodafone and Telefonica and adverts, Lithuanian and Brazilian IPTV, rapid withdrawal from Iraq, Nokia’s cool tools, sinister stalkerware from Google, and Telco 2.0 Recommends: the best of the blogs.

Telco 2.0 Strategy

3.3bn mobile subscribers worldwide

Telco 2.0 Comment: And that’s still only 50 per cent world penetration. The big question is now just how close to the world adult population it’s possible to push; is more than 75 per cent achievable?

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November 2, 2007

MSP: ISP plus Content

Our good friend Keith McMahon blogs on Playlouder, a British company which plans to offer unlimited, DRM-free music downloads to its customers who buy their DSL service. Naturally, there’s a premium associated with the music, which is the core of the business.

Now, interestingly enough, Playlouder describes itself as a “Media Service Provider” rather than “just” an ISP, which tends to confirm that their content business is part of their solution for the famous broadband incentive problem. The economic value created by widespread Internet use mostly happened after always-on broadband became available and cheap. Flat-rate broadband gives the user every incentive to use as much of it as possible; but the network operator has no corresponding incentive to create more capacity. Therefore, usage tends to increase until the network becomes congested.

Certainly, Playlouder expects their customers to run the copper hot downloading all that music; but they’re paying for it, and presumably Playlouder’s sums assume that the content charge covers the extra traffic, the licensing costs, and some margin. What they are offering, then, is connectivity plus. When we carried out a survey of industry experts recently, the idea of offering inclusive content as a way of managing costs was very popular; you can learn more in our Broadband Business Models 2.0 report when it comes out in December.

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October 29, 2007

New Ideas for Incremental Muni-Fibre and Metro-Fibre

We continue to be fascinated by the presentation by Roy Gradwell, Director of Connected Real Estate Ltd, at the Telco 2.0 Digital Cities session. We think the ideas he floated deserve a much wider audience. He presented a new option for financing network build-outs, different from existing vertically integrated models (e.g. Verizon FiOS) or Muni/open models (e.g. Amsterdam’s Citynet).

What interests us most is that it provides a practical framework for realising Malcolm Matson’s open access vision of the future, where networks are funded and owned by long-term low-risk investors and any service provider can ride on top. This is called an OPLAN (Open Public Local Access Network), and implies both the end-user access and metro backhaul are part of the same open network. It’s an intellectually attractive proposition. The trouble is finding the route from “here” to “there”.

Some of the biggest problems with municipal fibre deployments are down to the fact that it’s a big, expensive, monolithic project. The up-front cost is hefty, and its repayment means you have to be very sure there will be enough demand to pay it back. It’s difficult to trial the idea of muni-fibre (or any other kind of metro-fibre rollout) without making a huge investment and therefore taking a big risk. This is the “anchor tenant” problem Dave Hughes, Director of BT’s Wireless Broadband division, mentioned during the session. Other speakers noted how hard it was to co-ordinate the purchase of connectivity across multiple public services given their varying contract commitments and buying cycles.

Plus, if you’re the city government, you can run into problems in the courts - in some places you might get sued by an incumbent telco, and in the European Union quite a few cities have run into trouble with the legislation on state aid to industry.

On the other hand, as Roy points out, for enterprise and government users the bottleneck is between the LAN and the WAN; and in the UK, there’s been hardly any metropolitan area network investment since the end of the cable boom in 1996.

The principle doesn’t need too much stretching to cover residential users either - after all, there’s not much difference between a LAN-wired office block, a LAN-wired factory, or a LAN-wired block of flats from this point of view, and getting fibre reasonably close to the home is the precondition of fibre-to-the-X, VDSL, WiMAX, and the like.

Nobody wants to build a metro backhaul network without access network customers; but nobody wants to build an access network without a plentiful supply of cheap metro backhaul. And few are willing to risk doing both. So, what is to be done?

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October 18, 2007

BT Wireless@Telco 2.0; Getting away from “Why-Fi”

On the Digital Cities track at Telco 2.0 today, Dave Hughes, BT’s boss of wireless access networks, was talking about
the importance of pragmatism and the difficulties metro-WLANs face in cities that don’t have an American grid plan.

It’s well known that there have been a succession of metro-WLAN deployments that have gone bad; the sector’s icon, the Google-championed San Francisco deployment, is currently stalled after EarthLink pulled out. And Hughes offered a quick review of dozens of press reports on failed projects. Typically, they launch in a burst of hacker idealism and city-booster hype, but soon discover that radio engineering is actually quite hard, a point IT people seem to have to learn the hard way.

But there’s worse; what about the economics?

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October 8, 2007

Digital Cities - Better Private-Public Collaboration for Broadband Access

If we believe there are significant social as well as economic benefits from providing very fast broadband access to as many people as possible, then we need to think of new ways to make it happen. And that means new models for private-public sector collaboration, as the current approaches are not effective.

That’s the background to the Digital Cities Summit next Thursday at the Telco 2.0 event. We’re delighted to have a stellar cast of ‘stimulus presenters’ who are all bringing new analysis to the table. The aim of the brainstorm is to define some clear Next Steps guidance for those involved in broadband provision to citizens in Europe.

In practice this will mean turning the output of the brainstorm into a report that will help clarify the partnership approaches needed between telcos, government (local and central), physical infrastructure providers, regulators, financiers and vendors; new revenue opportunities, growth areas and approaches to business cases; ideas for alternative funding vehicles and risk sharing; and overcoming go-to-market issues on public-private initiatives.

So, all brainstorms need a good structure, and we start by looking at: “Where’s the Value from Pervasive Access to High-Bandwidth: the real Economic and Social Benefits…and Costs?”

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September 5, 2007

Making Structural Separation Work: Interview with Steve Robertson, CEO, Openreach

Readers of Telco 2.0 are probably well aware that we like the British model of structural separation, where the local loop is controlled by a specially-created company with a duty to provide nondiscriminatory access to all-comers, a lot. This approach helps to mitigate risk across the BT Group and, theoretically at least, liberates the individual units (Retail, Wholesale, Access) to be more innovative and responsive to customer needs (levelling the playing field a little with internet players like Google). (More on the benefits of this here).

Naturally, we jumped at the chance to interview the good people at Openreach, the BT access division. Especially in the light of rumours that BT might be considering a KPN-like deployment of fibre to the street cabinets; which would make the Local Loop Unbundling model Openreach was formed to defend partly obsolete.

Our interview with Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, (who will also be a stimulus speaker at the Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in October) is below the fold…

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August 1, 2007

40Gbits Granny and the Future of Telecoms

The news that Sigrid Löthberg, Peter Löthberg’s 75-year old grandmother, has the world’s fastest Internet connection has now passed through the Web’s digestive tract. All the oohing and aahing is complete. It’s certainly very cool that she has 40Gbits/s connectivity and a CRS-1 router in her garden shed, but it is only a demonstration project.

However, it does tell us quite a lot about how Cisco thinks the future will be. And there will not be a CRS-1 in every pot any time soon. The fibre, well, that’s a different story. Sweden, like some other countries, has a number of projects that aim at the creation of shared, open-access fibre infrastructure. It’s a question of getting the institutions and economics right; aggregating enough customers to spread the capex while guaranteeing open access to preserve competition. And that, by the way, is what the Digital Town strand of Telco 2.0 is all about, and the focus of the Digital Cities summit on the 18th of October: find out more here.

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July 30, 2007

Google anchors its carrier off the coast of Telcoland

So what’s up with Google and the 700MHz spectrum? Well, Google has “pre-bid”-that is, declared its interest in bidding-for a large block of radio spectrum in the US’s 700MHz ex-TV band. (See here.) The big friendly search engine (or menacing, Orwellian data monster, depending on point of view) doesn’t just want the spectrum for itself; it wants it to be sublicensed for public access.

Traditionally, the economic value of radio spectrum has been largely an economic rent, originating from the fact that licenses grant a monopoly of its use. No cash changes hands when the various unlicensed bands, such as the 2.4GHz swamp beloved of Wi-Fi users worldwide, are used; even though, of course, its use creates value for the user, this isn’t accounted for.

So why would anyone want nonexclusive spectrum? Isn’t it a contradiction in terms? And what does Google plan to do with it? Google, after all, is a model Telco 2.0 company, designed around the
horizontalisation of the industry (NB: in the plenary session of the Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in October we’ll be talking about ‘coopetition’ strategies based on some new analysis by our senior stimulus presenters).

googleship-cvn65.jpg

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July 18, 2007

Ping!

An SMS message! Who’s it from?

TELCO. (They can be anonymous for now.) Apparently they think I might be travelling to Europe, and therefore that I might want to know about their new roaming rates. Fair enough - that would be some of the contextual messaging stuff the people at Acision/ex-LogicaCMG Telco Products are always talking about, no?

Well, it would if I actually was travelling to Europe. Given that TELCO knows my phone has been in the same cell, near my home address, all day, you’d think they would have thought of this - strikes me that the trainload of phones zooming along the Channel Tunnel Rail Link every 30 minutes or so must show up quite impressively in TELCO’s switching centre as a lot of the same devices sending CC SETUP messages very quickly indeed.

They’re probably more likely to be heavy mobile users than the general population, too. Similarly, Heathrow Airport is full of people who certainly are travelling to Europe, as well as picocells deployed in the sprawling terminals..there’s surely an opportunity here to put some of the talk about advertising that “users will value” into effect, by targeting devices that have just turned up in those cells.

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April 11, 2007

Interview: Malcolm Matson of OpenPlanet on OPLANs

For some time we’ve been convinced that the key to success in fixed networks is innovation in the financing, access and pricing of the network - and not trying to evolve the vertically integrated model (as attempted by our American friends and lusted after by our German cousins).

As you may have read in our Digital Town event summary, Malcolm Matson from OpenPlanet gave a strong endorsement of a fundamentally different way of building access networks: Open Local Access Networks (OPLANs). We find these an intriguing idea, but also a hard one to get a firm grip on. Hippy communitarian dream or level-headed investor opportunity?

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April 6, 2007

Telco 2.0 event: Digital Town summary

Over the next week or so, we’ll be reprising some of the key ideas and themes from the breakout sessions. First out of the gate is Digital Town, where we were looking at future funding models for access networks.

It’s useful to be a utility

The day was opened by Jonathan Dann of investment bank Bear Stearns. He noted that the telecoms sector has recently rallied, and that is being driven by ring-fenced assets like BT’s Openreach being given utility ratings (i.e. better than damaged telecom ratings). This should come as no surprise: the BT access network is being paid for by a collection of different business models of resellers and unbundlers. Together they will provide a less volatile return than a single integrated retail division.

Jonathan deeply hinted that the upcoming fibre deployment in the UK needs to learn something from this: Verizon FiOS-style approaches may not meet City approval. Our single one-size-fits-all IPTV service really is the best way to pay for this $bn access network… But will the investors keep buying that story?

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January 15, 2007

Digital Town hypothesis: the future of access networks

We’re working in the background preparing our next Telco 2.0 brainstorm event. We avoid the word “conference” as the format is so different: interactive technology, brief pre-screened stimulus presentations, real-time expert analysis, and after-event reviews. One of the ways in which we depart from the conference format is we frame up issues for debate — and also have a point of view ourselves.

One way we are trying to improve on the conference format is by giving all speakers and attendees a brief session “hypothesis” that provides STL’s view on the topic of discussion.

First on the lauchpad is our Digital Town work stream, which looks at how to improve the economic and social well being of municipalities via high speed broadband access. In a nutshell, we don’t think investors are happy with “business as usual” for redundant, competing access networks — unless they can capture monopoly rents and also keep the regulator at bay. The uncertainty of regulatory intervention ultimately works against the carriers, as it drives away risk capital. Are there better ways of dealing with the problem? We think so, and successful “pipe” providers will examine and embrace change in network funding models.

We’ll be debating these issues with a line-up of speakers representing communities, altnets, users, incumbents, new entrants, innovators, and technology disruptors. Do join us!

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