"Conclusion: Sell the rat bastards (aka the carriers) what they want to buy, especially all this IMS crap...
- The carriers don't know what the f*&k they are doing anyway (AT&T thinks one HDTV channel over ADSL2 is enough for America);
- There is no more money in voice (how much was your long distance bill last month? If it was greater than $3, you're being taken);
- There is no money in services (any 18 year-old in the Valley is a better new business development manager than any of the telcos have);
- If NBC can't make any money in television why do the telcos believe they can?;
- There is no money in transport (especially long haul);
- There is little or no money in access (but let's spend $5-8K per new sub on FTTH, the carriers will just screw their stock holders later - bondholders please note);
- There is little or no money left in mobility (it's all about the phone anyway);
- The carriers' customers all hate them (no brand loyalty in telecom);
- All their efforts at customer control (except political) have failed/will fail;
- And even when they actually buy something they want us to finance it on our books!"
UPDATE: A Platinum Class mega-value reader writes in with the following observation:
"Reading this I could not help but think that this guy is extrapolating future telco by starting from present telco. I think future telco will be anything but an iteration/variation of present telco.
Witness Iliad and their 300k wifi hostpots that popped up overnight in France - it gave Iliad a national SIP-based mobile network (a nasty one, probably, but nonetheless a network).
Morph this into a larger Wimax version (Iliad has the only French license) and you could get an almost decent national mobile voice network. Best of all: access capex is done by the end user (sort of like Skype, whose 100+ million users are the voice switching infrastructure).
This probably means that for incumbents to survive, they need to change into something they are not right now (e.g. could a tier 2 voice operator suddenly become a global SIP operator, i.e. a better/new/improved Vonage)?"
Spot on, though my question remains, does "future telco" evolve out of the current incumbent morass, or does it happen from outside, as with Iliad? To use a mass extinction metaphor, do the dinosaurs evolve into creatures which can survive (birds), and/or is it the nimbler, more adaptable small mammals which inherit the earth?
UPDATE 2: Another mega-uber value reader, also from the supplier space, chimes in:
"Both the original author and the commenter are correct. Traditional telcos are approaching this as a red ocean problem - what can I do within my own walls, where as the Illiads are the relatively new comers with blue ocean strategies. The latter has a value prop that appeals to the user while the former appeals to the street. I don't see morphing as a likely outcome soon; so I'd just assume sell weapons to both sides."