Clouds and Pipes. That’s what telecom has become. Services go over-the-top (OTT) and telcos provide connectivity. Telcos have fought a battle for more than a decade to retain Services and they lost. Only Voice and IPTV represent significant business other than connectivity.
Not even the assets they had at the time of the first cloud and pipes post are an advantage anymore:
- Telcos do not have a billing relationship any better than iTunes/App Store, Google Play, Skype and many other OTT.
- Telcos brand is perceived by consumers as ‘you-pay-for-all’ vs Internet freemium everywhere.
- The only reason voice is still with telcos is because of clever bundles of minute plans. And IPTV in most markets resulted in a must-have bundle just to sell broadband.
Telefonica does well to try and play the OTT game too with a separate entity, Telefonica Digital. It’s the only chance to be anything other than a pipe.
As per RCS, forget about it. This was invented when Nokia ruled. In a post-iPhone world with Facebook and Twitter native support, what does RCS has to offer to a user?
Update: Check out Telefonica Digital Tu Go. That’s a good example of making OTT work for a carrier.
This app enables you to have OTT voice with your phone number when on Wifi. That is a far simpler and lower cost approach to poor 3G coverage indoor than deploying femto-cells.
Clouds and Pipes: The End of Telecom as we knew it.
You can get an early copy of the book and contribute with comments by subscribing to the blog by email.