Saturday, January 12, 2008

Will Telecom Network Operators finally become Internet Service Providers only?

Will Telecom Network Operators finally become Internet Service Providers only? Future of Telecom service providers? Would ISP and TSPs become one? A walk back from Future...

2015. AT&T today announced their Internet Services expansion to India. “We see India is the largest Mobile Communication devices’ consumer population worldwide followed by China and our high speed, reliable mobile Internet Services would help the regular Indian consumer to enjoy most advanced telephony and Value Added Services on their ARM Mobile 1.28 GHz processor driven, Google Android / Microsoft / Symbian based, mobile communicators.” said their SVP Worldwide Marketing and Product strategy at the launch function in New Delhi.

2010. Discussing the future of Telecom business at the Worldwide Telecom Forum, the heads of Top 10 worldwide telecom network operators conclusively shared a vision, with open mobile platforms like Google Android or Yahoo Open Mobile, telecom operations have virtually came to a halt with ever decreasing revenues from Mobile Phone networks consecutively for past 2 years while VAS and mobile ads revenues are increasing. There was a consensus that the TSPs would now concentrate on their newly launched Open Mobile VAS services along with the high speed 1GBPs wireless networks. Profitability will be driven by the Ads and VAS services and the telephony will be free of charge for the consumers. This will be on a revenue sharing model with the VAS operators.

If the above claims look strange, you may want to think about what’s conspiring in the world, on the mobile scenario, again!

With Apple’s iPhone, the mobile industry has seen a completely different face of information and communication. And with Google Android’s open mobile platform, you can imagine running a mobile software, which will be capable of Voice and Data communication processing in an ARM processor, and then transmission and reception over XG (3G, 4G, 5G…) internet services. Which means, the thing in your hand, is a PC which can run something like Google Talk or Skype and you can communicate (call someone, share a song, a video or probably send a vibe(vibrator ring)), with someone who has Google Talk or Skype running on a similar mobile communication device. And with IPV6 standards this mobile phone or communication wireless device will be having an IP address too. (You can track it for contextual or behavioral marketing – Did I say Push marketing was dead?)

So what is left for the TSPs? Probably a carrier…for Internet and not for telephony. And off course 2 important things Contextual Content, Contextual Ads (in various formats like Video, Text, Audio, probably Vibration or Touch Colors etc.).

Why companies like NTT DoCoMo, Digiweb, Reliance, Vodafone, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, Tata, BT, Etisalat, Du and similar ones should now focus on a long term growth strategy of acquisition of VAS providers, content management systems and mobile application development on open devices seems obvious. Companies which can help provide Mobile Advertising solutions, Mobile Content delivery or High speed mobile internet are the real companies to look for in future. Companies which can challenge Google in creating a mobile Google checkout to purchase online and start building an online purchase history and complete behavior of browsing and purchase will become very lucrative and growth businesses.

I might be knaive and may not understand the internal dynamics, though, I do see such trends which will bring Telecom network providers to become ISPs and VAS providers and contextual content delivery in various media on a mobile communication device over Internet 4G networks would rule.

*This entry is based on my imagination and analysis and is more of an observant speculation.

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