December 18, 2009

BitTorrent’s uTP: The Art of Getting Out Of The Way

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Media vs P2P vs Telcos: The Internet’s Civil War

At the 8th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in Orlando last week, Eric Klinker, CEO of, had some fascinating things to say about technical solutions to the interlocking intellectual property and bandwidth issues we’re constantly debating around online video. (He also remarked that the whole debate about P2P, piracy, and intellectual property had begun to remind him of the US Civil War - by 1863, it was clear that the South could never win, but the war went on anyway, and the majority of the casualties died pointlessly between then and 1865.)

He said that both the telecoms and media industries hated BitTorrent, but that this was in part a reflection of their own mutual distrust. BitTorrent was a very small company being ground between these two huge interest blocks. Despite that, it’s still global - the only country where there are no BitTorrent applications running is North Korea - has 66% of the market, and the monthly peak throughput of the BitTorrent network is 4 terabits per second.

Congestion, not Traffic, Drives Cost

ISPs tend to be concerned about BitTorrent because they see it as a bandwidth hog. Klinker pointed out that he had himself been an ISP engineer and that he therefore understood their concerns. He remarked that traffic was not, in fact, a driver of cost - congestion was.


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November 24, 2009

Shareholder Value 2.0: Investors now rating telcos as ‘utilities’. What to do?

[Ed - this is a summary of the Shareholder Value session at the 7th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm, held in London on the 4th-5th of November. We’ll be covering the same issues from a North American perspective in the 8th Executive Brainstorm in Orlando on the 9th-10th of December.]

This session covered the broad strategic and financial issues facing the telecoms industry, and its relationship with the capital markets. The presenters were Richard Kramer of Arete Research and Chris Barraclough of Telco 2.0. This article comprises a Report of the Session, and a Telco 2.0 Summary Analysis.


Report of the Session

SmartPhone Profit Smash in 2010
Richard Kramer opened on the future of the devices market. He argued that an epic battle for the device market is ahead; a combination of heavy investment in eye-catching new gadgets and savage price competition means that the smartphone industry profit pool will probably be net zero this year. A similar phenomenon can be seen happening with the network vendors - who have the further problem of growing competition from IT vendors, the replacement of expensive specialised hardware with generic IT equipment, and the pricing power of a consolidating telecoms industry.


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November 19, 2009

Media 2.0: Online Music should be licensed, ‘3 strikes’ won’t work

[Ed - this is a summary of the Media 2.0 session at the 7th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm, held in London on the 4th-5th of November. We’ll be further discussing the issues involved at the 8th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in Orlando on the 9th-10th of December.]

This session covered issues relating to content, the media industries and their relationship with telcos, and the delivery of online video. The presenters were Feargal Sharkey of UK Music, Gerd Leonhard of, and David Touve of the Williams School of Commerce. The panel discussion also featured Francis Keeling of Universal Music, Damian Newton of Sony, Jon James of Virgin Media, Cameron Rejali of BT Wholesale, Rupert Day of GroupM, and Dan Klein of Detica.

Online Music: what’s so funny ‘bout peace love and understanding?
A major theme in Feargal Sharkey’s keynote was the search for a less adversarial relationship between the music industry and the Internet/telco community.

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September 24, 2009

eComm Fall, 28-30 Oct, Amsterdam - Recommended Event

If you are interested in some high octane stimulation in addition to the upcoming Telco 2.0 events (EMEA and Americas), we’d strongly recommend eComm Fall, The Emerging Communications Conference & Awards in Amsterdam on 28-30 October. 10% discounts available to Telco 2.0 readers here.

eComm promotes and accelerates communications innovation and showcases ‘what’s next’ in Telecom, mobile and Internet comms. And we agree with Lee Dryburgh, eComm’s founder, when he says:

“There is not a migratory way for telecom operators and media outlets to the future; emergent social practice is increasingly clashing with their very structure and desires. This means unprecedented opportunity for those ahead-of-the-curve.
The emerging transformations require big thoughts and big bets. eComm is the venue for those thoughts and bets to be shared and heard.”

For more information please visit or register here to receive a ‘Telco 2.0’ 10% discount. To share this article easily, please click:

September 2, 2009

Key US Events in November/December

If you’re in the USA, focused on mobile, and can’t make it over to London on 4-5 November for the 7th Telco 2.0 Exec Brainstorm, we’d strongly recommend the excellent Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco. As normal it has a strong line up of senior speakers and panelists which stimulates a vibrant debate. We’d be speaking there ourselves if we didn’t have a clash of diaries - we’ll coordinate things better next year! Early bird discounts are still available up to 18th Sept.

In the meantime, our own AMERICA event (the 8th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm, on 9-10 December in Orlando, Florida) is shaping up extremely well: senior stimulus speakers from innovators like Sprint, Verizon ODI, YouTube, BitTorrent, C-Beyond, Brightcove, Nokia, and, delighted to say, Second Life. Watch this space for more…

At both the EMEA and AMERICA Telco 2.0 events, Telco 2.0 analysts will be presenting new ‘Use Cases’ around two-sided business models too. There are ‘distance participation’ packages for both if you can’t travel/have diary clashes, but would like access to the input/output.

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August 27, 2009

Fergal Sharkey to stimulate Telco 2.0 event

We’re delighted that Fergal Sharkey, CEO ofUK Music, (the collection society for UK musicians), will be joining an important session at the 7th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm on ‘Media 2.0 - Digital Distribution in a ‘Pirate World’.

Teenage dreams. So hard to beat

He’ll be providing stimulus for a debate on “New Business Models for Licensing content on broadband networks” and will be joined on a panel by senior representatives from Universal Music, Virgin Media, GroupM and others. (NB: Early bird discount rates finish in a few days. Apply to participate here.

Some of you may remember Fergal from his days with the Undertones:

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July 20, 2009

Marketing Forum, Munich, 28-30 September

We’re delighted to be supporting NSN’s ‘Marketing Forum’ event on the 28-30 Sept in Munich at the Hilton Hotel. Readers of this blog can register for free, go to Username: Your e-mail adress; Password: marketingforum2009. The event coincides with the Oktoberfest so there’s an additional incentive to make the trip.


More details below:

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June 11, 2009

Pilot 2.0 - How to trial new business models

Below is a summary analysis of the Pilot 2.0 session at the May 2009 Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm.

One of the recurring themes at the event was ‘where to start?’ with Telco 2.0 business models. Although many participants could perceive where operators would like to be eventually, there was much less belief or consistency in working out how to get there.

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June 4, 2009

Videos from Telco 2.0 event

The good people from TelecomTV have now published the videos from this spring’s Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm. Below is the opening interview with Chairman of TM Forum and CEO of Telco 2.0 Initiative:

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May 19, 2009

Open Mobile Summit, 10-11 June, London: Recommended

The Open Mobile Summit (10-11 June, London) is shaping up very well. It’s a very strong event with the top people in mobile. Telco 2.0 will be speaking there and sharing some of the brainstorming output from our event a few weeks’ ago.

We are told the event is almost sold out, so it’s worth reserving a place ASAP if you want to participate. Some discounts still available.


Below are details of the agenda and its top quality speakers and the key benefits of the event:

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May 7, 2009

Yahoo!, COLT and the Customer Data Revolution (CDR)

Alireza Mahmoodshahi, CTO of COLT, seems to have caught the Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm’s imagination with COLT’s plans for a carrier-grade cloud computing platform.

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The Vital Importance of Frivolity

“Rather mad, but silly things are important”. So said Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy at Telco 2.0 yesterday. And he’s right - we’ve pointed to the vital importance of frivolity before. So what if one of the biggest-selling iPhone applications makes a fart noise? It beats a ton of unsaleable PowerPoint engineering. Silly things frequently show up the things people actually find valuable, compelling, or interesting; we owe much of the broadband business and the whole of the technology of Web video, essentially, to porno Web sites, and we would know much less about scaling transactional Web applications while maintaining security if it wasn’t for gambling.

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April 7, 2009

It’s Meffys time again…

Telco 2.0 is delighted to be deepening its partnership with the Mobile Entertainment Forum. Its Chairman, the superbly provocative Andrew Bud, will be a stimulus speaker at our event in May, and we will be helping with this year’s Meffy awards, the “Oscars of the mobile world”.

If you feel you have achieved something groundbreaking in the last year, there’s still time left to submit an entry: the deadline is 17 April 2009. [Ed. - NOW EXTENDED TO THE 24 APRIL!]

Last year’s winners are here, if you’re unsure if you measure up. Go on, even the geeky voice developers are in with a chance - last year’s best application was the excellent Fring.

The Meffy’s aim to celebrate innovation and creativity in the following areas:

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March 26, 2009

Open Mobile Summit: Telco 2.0 CEO to speak

We don’t promote many events, but we like this one: the Open Mobile Summit, which is being held in London on the 10th-11th of June. Telco 2.0’s CEO will be speaking in the session on “How to make the business case for operators and open access” on day one, sharing some of the output from the Telco 2.0 Exec Brainstorm in May; and you might recognise our friend James Enck as well, who’s chairing the conference on that day.

Innovators from Yahoo!, RIM, TeliaSonera, DTAG, Opera Software, Google, Truphone, Access, Symbian, LiMo, Openmoko, Mozilla and many more are expected. And it’s going to be all about serving the needs of developers, content providers, advertisers and enterprises, while using the new opportunities open-source technologies provide and keeping operators wired into the value chains of the future.


There’s a neat podcast here from last year’s show.

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February 25, 2009

MWC 2009 Roundup - Fear and Optimism

The giant mobile-telco bazaar has come and gone for another year. The pre-event fear about footfall seemed overplayed - everywhere was still crowded, if slightly less crowded than last year. The merchants were also out in force with their stands as huge and shiny as ever - perhaps there was slightly more unfilled space, but nothing that would indicate the mobile economy is in a massive downturn. As much as we hunted for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - they were nowhere to be found.

The Nokia stand, day one Figure 1: the Nokia stand on day one

Unlike any traditional bazaar, MWC is not about the exchange of cash, but more about creating partnerships and product awareness which will lead to revenues throughout the rest of the year. Deals are a bonus, especially if they lead to the deployment of next generation technology - especially one’s coming with a multi-year revenue flow.

Here is the Telco 2.0 analysis of the key events from the event:

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February 24, 2009

eComm2009 - Next Week, San Francisco

If you can get to San Francisco next week we’d strongly recommend eComm, the Emerging Communications Conference on 3-5 March.

It’s the leading-edge telecom, internet communications and mobile innovation event, and attracts the world’s leading futurists, and smartest, most forward thinking exec’s who are exploring the future of communications. The speakers are a who’s who of cutting-edge thinkers. See for the full agenda and speaker line up. Telco 2.0 is proud to be a partner of this important event.

NB: As a Telco 2.0 reader you can get 20% off the price of a ticket. Just use promotional code ‘Telco20’ on the registration page or directly at this link.

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February 12, 2009

Coming Soon: Serving the Digital Generation

There’s a new Telco 2.0 strategy report rolling down the tracks.

It’s a natural inclination to imagine that the difference between young people and their elders is simply that they’re young. But at times of rapid technological or social change, quite often, nothing could be more wrong. Instead, patterns of behaviour and culture that you might assume are the caprices of youth will last a lifetime and will become the conservative norm that the youth of the future will rebel against.

Serving the Digital Generation: Innovation for a new breed of customers is Telco 2.0’s attempt to characterise future customers and explore what operators should be doing to better serve them. Statistically speaking, the customer of the future is already with us, in the form of South Korean, Chinese and Japanese youngsters, and is a user of at least one of many social networks, games, and virtual world applications that have sprung up in the last few years. In the report, we analyse a whole range of such services in order to understand the business models and product features that have succeeded. We’ll also be running a major session on this topic at the Telco 2.0 world event in May -

We identified a number of major factors and new opportunities that constrain and liberate the customer of the future. On one hand, parental paranoia, rapid urbanisation, and proliferating surveillance systems have led to a public space that is ever more restrictive for the young; on the other hand, the digital world has created huge opportunities to escape this and to pursue what we describe as the ‘Participation Imperative’. We have developed a framework to help service providers clarify these user needs and how to serve them.

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January 28, 2009

CMO Forum @ Mobile World Congress

The Telco 2.0 team will be in force at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in a few weeks’ time. If any of our readers would like to meet up with us please mail us.

In the meantime, if you are a strategy leader at an operator or media company we’d strongly recommend you ask for an invite to the ‘CMO Forum’ at MWC, which this year goes deeper than ever into the mobile marketing opportunity.

Telco 2.0 will be presenting some analysis and facilitating the discussions. The GSMA has lined up a superb list of speakers and panellists from across the value chain. See agenda below (NB: there are only a few seats left for this event - which are reserved for senior strategy execs at operators and media cos only):

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Telco 2.0 Strategy Report Out Now: Telco Strategy in the Cloud

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