Killing the Golden Goose

Alex Russell: "The [mobile phone] OpCo's fear anything they don't own. They'd rather kill the golden goose than have an open market in golden eggs from which they'd be the
main benefactors. They're deathly afraid of becoming "dumb bit pipes"
(although that's exactly what they are). As a result, they're driven
to distraction by any hint of openness that isn't strictly in their
favor, leading them to become *stupid* bit pipes. They've made
generation after generation of walled-garden play with no discernible
positive outcome other than to continue to lock up users thanks to lax
regulation (in the US).

Competition is changing the dynamic slightly. The device vendors
loathe the OpCo's (and vice versa). They're only in this shotgun
marriage due to the oligopolistic economics of how devices are sold
and who sells them (at least in the US). But a little bit of
competition by folks with different motivations (Apple, Google, etc.)
is changing things in favor of the handset vendors."


Matt Kanninen said…
True true. You have to remember though, the carrier's are the ones most invested, they built the towers, spectrum, retail channels, etc. They're the ones that get the monthly service fee, which is most of the money coming from the consumer.
Unknown said…
I actually heard an interesting different perspective from a friend whose company is working right now to gain carrier acceptance. Based on what she's seen during the negotiation process, one of the reasons that operators are so conservative about approving new applications is that their infrastructure is quite fragile. It's more antiquated and brittle than most people familiar with modern networking would expect.

Now that's not an excuse, but just a different take on the problem.