Key’s stance on broadband decision gob-smacking

It [the Commission ruling] substantially reduces the income of that company [Chorus] and its capacity around broadband.

Chorus investors (who are rewarded for risk, ffs) aren’t the only investors in telecommunications, even if you did think “investors” some special interest group that deserved more attention than others.

I wonder to what degree this proposed intervention and attendant kerfuffle is intended to distract us from the rort, that for every copper line, every month, Chorus (nee Telecom) was being paid $12.53 more than it was worth.  That the original “retail minus” model was so inflated by monopoly rentier behaviour, that when a “cost plus” regime was instituted it discovered how excessive the rent was.

That a company (Chorus) that is receiving the lion’s share of the State’s investment in fibre deployment, should then be protected by the State from a rational reduction in price is sketchy.  Especially when you consider the reduction will transfer profit to more competitive (AKA risky) companies who use the monopoly copper input to provide consumer choice in the market.

Dean Bubley’s 2013 Telecom Industry Anti-Forecasts

My 2013 Telecom Industry Anti-Forecasts

So without further ado, these are Disruptive Analysis’ Top 10 Telecoms Anti-Forecasts for the coming year…

1) RCSe / RCS5 / Joyn won’t gain meaningful user traction

2) NFC payments will continue to struggle.

3) Broad adoption of VoLTE won’t occur in 2013

4) WebRTC won’t take over the world in 2013

5) Nokia won’t be acquired

6) LTE won’t replace fixed broadband.

7) OTT traffic on broadband won’t be “monetised”

8) Handset purchase patterns won’t change that much

9) WiFi won’t be “seamless” or tightly coupled to mobile network cores

10) No operator will make a bold acquisition of a major Internet player


A couple of other, shorter, extra anti-forecasts for 2013:

– Cellular M2M connections will start to lose out to WiFi, Zigbee, private radio and others for connections to devices that don’t actually move about
– LTE roaming will be widely ignored because of bill-shock risk, spectrum mismatch in devices and issues around supporting voice
– Nobody normal will be using mobile phones to unlock doors of homes, cars or hotels instead of keys or cards
– Mobile video-calling/sharing will remain almost irrelevant, and generate way more PR puff than it deserves. Some other embedded-video apps might make more sense, though.
– Augmented Reality is mostly touted by people with a limited grip on non-augmented reality. It won’t be meaningfully important in 2013, if ever.
– Everyone will hate the new venue for MWC13. I’m not going – if I fancied a week on an industrial park next to IKEA, I’d go to Neasden as it’s closer.
The Internet will happily go about its merry monoservice business, despite the apocalyptic predictions of my colleague Martin Geddes. I won’t be waking from nightmares shouting “Non-stationarity!!!
– Outside of the Galaxe Note-style “phablet”, few tablets will have 3G/4G modems embedded, and even fewer will have them regularly used
– We won’t see much change in Internet Governance, despite lots of noise and thunder from those mostly-thwarted at the ITU WCIT conference
– White-space technology won’t evolve as far, as fast or as disruptively as many people hope
– We probably won’t see Software-Defined Networking (SDN) proceed as fast as many hope, but that’s an area for me to research a bit more fully before nailing down that conclusion

Have a Happy New Year. Be Disruptive…..



Telecom in the new era

“Telcos are mostly going to sell gigabytes in the future. The revenue that funds all our massive infrastructure, whether it be fixed or mobile, is going to come from selling gigabytes as opposed to minutes and messages.”

Excellent.  Recognition that the need for consumers to pay the operator to manufacture voice calling services is over, trumped by the handset’s edge to edge audio capability.

“Data is the saleable item and will be bought in parcels and volumes, and it’s good for the market to have alternatives that are cheap and low volume and medium and high. Some fast, some slow. Unless you create a diverse range of offers that meet every market, you end up with an unhealthy market.”

Half right, nothing is “saleable” when it exists in abundance, which data does in the wired envrionment.  Having recently moved to 0.5TB quota at a residential price, there may be caps, but who’ll know.  The saleable item is subscription to the connection, the end.

Moutter says there is no point in uncapped plans. “That would be like selling electricity with unlimited electricity for $50 a month; how the hell would that be efficient? That would be insane.”

Wholly wrong.  What is insane is comparing an energy transmission network delivering a costly limited commodity to consumers with a datacommunications network that exchanges a functionally infinite commodity provided by subscribers.


NZ to vote against governments taking over internet

Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says New Zealand will try to block an international move by some governments to take over the running of the internet.

Mrs Adams made the announcement at the first regional internet community conference, NetHui South, in Dunedin on Friday.

Mrs Adams says New Zealand will vote againt the move, because the not-for-profit agencies including ICANN, which organise the worldwide web, are doing a good job.She says the current system allows stakeholders from governments, academia, business and the wider internet community to have input and has proven itself flexible enough to cope with rapid changes in technology.

Internet New Zealand chief executive Vikram Kumar applauded the New Zealand Government’s stance, saying it is a huge step forward as government control of the internet would kill its openness and innovation.


Essential reading for ITU World attendees: Ubiquity is EARNED not ASSUMED

Dial 911!

Emergency calling usually rears its head at this point inthe argument, as an example of the ???greater good??? that customers are only awareof when they really need it. It is used as excuse for continuing the controlled,centralised, federated-telco model.

I think that is a non-sequitur.

I agree that good emergency communications is a must. Italso needs a bottom-up rethink. Nobody sensible would suggest being able tocall 911 from inside voice chat in World of Warcraft (???Police? My sword???s beenstolen???). But nobody sensible would say it???s a bad idea to allow SMS???s to emergencyservices either, yet 20 years on it???s still not possible in most countries.

Emergency calling, by the telcos under threat.

Killing the copper and income inequality

Why is all of this happening with so little policy response?

InĀ Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (2012), author Martin Gilens makes a data-driven case for the following proposition: The responsiveness of government policies in America is strongly tilted towards the most affluent Americans. Indeed,”under most circumstances, the preferences of the vast majority of Americans [including the middle class as well as poorer Americans] appear to have essentially no impact on which policies the government does or doesn’t adopt.”

Who’s affluent? The top ten percent – including all members of Congress and most policymakers.

Universal service, still a good idea.

Future of Communications Newsletter – December 2011

The latest example is the recent debate around usage-based billing. Klinker doesn???t believe it would do anything to alleviate network congestion, and he wishes ISPs would be a little more innovative. ??? ???You should really do congestion-based billing,??? he suggested.???

Usage caps are not a means of managing network capex and opex, but are a pricing ruse to extract revenue and exclude competing services.

Until these factors are recognised, nothing will encourage ISPs to shift from their current local maxima.