Telcos are facing a challenging time. First it was the explosion in the demand for data, driven by the iPhone and its decedents, which are suffocating networks. Now over-the-top applications are redefining the economics of mobile.
There is plenty of discussion about how carriers can avoid becoming a commodity by participating in the economics of OTT apps by taxing the transit. Wifi handoffs and femtocell will help with contention.
It will be an interesting time for telcos that are prepared to take this on. It will be a hell of a challenge, mainly because a telco is always going to have trouble taxing OTT traffic given they will have unreconcilable differences with their subscriber model.
What if there is a more strategic idea? What if the economics of telcos really is really just going to be that of a dumb pipe, and what if someone can find a way to make a viable business model based on a free service to the consumer? What if it is not all about 4G but Wifi handoffs? It would drive a shift from service provider to access provider.
There are a lot of underlying trends and technology breakthroughs that point in this direction. Here’s to gofreenet playing its role in the internet access revolution. Interesting times ahead.