Could municipal copper be the future?
There’s been much discussion over the past year related to the viability of new wireless operators trying to implement national networks for Wi-Fi. The issue is one of cost and return on investment. As we learned during the dotcom boom, it is easy to build new infrastructures but it is much harder to build new infrastructures that are not only scalable but also profitable. With the introduction of free Wi-Fi to existing broadband customers, Verizon is changing the model again. On one side, you have smaller operators like Boingo that are trying to make a go of it without anything else. My bet is that the future of such operators lies in being acquired, either by a telephone company (in that particular case, I would bet on Sprint acquiring them since Boingo already has a relationship with their PCS division). On another side are existing large mobile operators like T-mobile who are trying to create a bundle that includes mobile phone service and data service all in one package. Those will probably continue to move successfully but will be forced to lower prices as time goes on. Now, with the Verizon offer, I expect to see not only DSL operators…Read More
Imagine an industry where customers are leaving more quickly than they are joining. If you were part of that industry, would you: try to increase your level of customer satisfaction ? or fight any provision that would increase competition in your industry? If you are the wireless phone industry, you will go for the latter. The issue at hand is number portability. What is number portability? Well, put quite simply, it is a way to be able to use the same phone number regardless of which service provider you are using. It is essentially what now allows us to change long distance service or local service carriers from our incumbent bell operating company (for example, Verizon in New York) to another service provider (following the same example, one could now go to AT&T or RCN for phone service). Technically, and from the consumer standpoint, it’s a really great idea that fosters choice and increases competition. To the existing phone monopolies, it’s a nightmare because it means that they now must be offering better service or face losing their customers to the competition. The history In 1996, under section 251(b)(2) of the Telecommunications Reform Act, the US government specified that all…Read More