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Cable & Wireless US$3B Deal to Acquire Columbus Exposes Vulnerabilities in Caribbean Telecom Sector

When Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) announced an agreement to acquire Columbus International, news of the deal sparked widespread concerns about the impact of reduced competition on consumer pricing, infrastructure investment and wider economic development in the Caribbean. If approved, the deal will make CWC the Caribbean's largest wholesale and retail broadband service provider. At the same time, it will return several Caribbean territories into monopoly or near-monopoly markets... more»

Content - The Next Regulatory War Zone

At the 2014 TelSoc Charles Todd Oration the former Chair of the ACCC, Graeme Samuel, warned against the looming content monopoly... "There is a constant risk that the exclusive tie-up of rights to content for new and emerging markets will allow the right holders to shut out competition across a wide range of services delivered over new networks." He didn't think that the current telcos have the right expertise to enter the content market... more»

Can Mobile Operators Afford a Mobile-Only Strategy?

With 4G rollouts in many developed mobile markets reaching completion, it might be time to check the balance of the state of the mobile industry. Looking at campaigns around the world it is clear that what you see are 'me too' strategies. The advertising campaigns and the marketing hyperbole around them might suggest that a particular operator has now done something unique or very special, but if one looks beyond the advertising blurb it is clear that the campaign is nothing new and/or that what is on offer can be very easily matched by their competitors in the market. more»

The ITU Plenipotentiary: Member States Decrease Financial Contributions

The ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference wraps up at the end of the week. The more than 2000 people present in Busan Korea from 171 countries -- overwhelmingly government bureaucrats -- have been busily polishing nearly a hundred resolutions on everything that ails them. The good news is that some sanity seems to have prevailed and most of the really extreme provisions apparently disappeared during the ensuing dialogue. One of the reasons for the change of heart is the realization that the ITU emperor's budget for clothes is disappearing. more»

Data Mining - The Next Driver of Mobile Revenue

I have often argued that in both the fixed and the mobile telecoms markets the actual telecoms element is a utility -- a utility that allows for an enormous range of new services, new business models and new applications. For this reason the argument for more than a decade (since 2002 to be precise) has been that structural separation of the vertically-integrated telecom model is needed in order to unleash the huge potential of telecoms. If that doesn't happen technologies will be applied that allow the users to bypass the barriers set up by the telcos to protect their utility.  more»

Taking It to the Streets

It is interesting to see telecommunications policy issues being covered by the general media. Of course, we expect to see coverage of communications issues in the business press. The sector is a large employer, makes massive investments in infrastructure and virtually every citizen buys communications products and services every month. Still, covering the sector in the business section is different from seeing coverage move to the front page or the general editorial pages. more»

Mobile Consolidation Is Unavoidable

Despite its absolute success in providing competition to the telecoms market, infrastructure-based competition in the mobile market is now also reaching its final stages. We have been predicting this for some time; we did so in order to highlight the need to change to different business models in the industry -- models with more emphasis on infrastructure-sharing and competition based on new innovative services rather than on utility offerings... more»

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India, from Within India, Through an Internet Blog

Hon' Prime Minister, Why would India table Proposal 98 for the work of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference? Contribution 98 wants the ITU to develop an IP address plan; wants it to be a contiguous IP address platform so as to enable the Governments to map and locate every Internet user; suggests that the ITU may coordinate the distribution of IP addresses accordingly; instructs the ITU Secretary General to develop policies for... naming, numbering and addressing which are [already] systematic, equitable... more»

Internet Society Posting Updates from ITU Plenipot 2014 in Busan

If you are, like me, not in Busan, South Korea, for the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference but are curious about what is going on there, my Internet Society colleagues on our public policy team have been posting regular updates to the Internet Society's blog and to the @ISOCPolicy Twitter account... Given that I work in the technology side of Internet Society's work and don't have the cycles to keep up-to-date with everything going on there in Busan, I've found these updates very helpful in understanding some of the major events happening at the ITU Plenipot 2014. more»

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»