What if there were no Over-the-Top-Players?
What would have happened to the telecom industry if there were no over-the-top-players [OTP] and disruptive innovators?
- Nokia would still be the phone leader and touch screens would not exist.
- Parlay would be the most easy to use telecom asset exposure API.
- MMS would be the only way to share images.
- On-site equipment would be necessary for each enterprise.
- LTE would be a data highway without demand.
If this sounds borring then you are right. OTP and disruptive innovators have brought excitement again. People want to know about new phones, faster data plans, tablets, etc.
However the more important question is why are telecom operators and traditional telecom providers not able to innovate like OTPs?
There are many reasons: canabalization of existing business, too complex Backoffice architecture, etc.
However the main reason is mindset! Most people that have spend at least 5 years in the telecom domain have started to assume that telecom beliefs are as strict as fundamental laws of physics:
- if it is not a standard it does not exist
- if it is not telco grade and build out of expensive software and hardware it does not exist
- if it is not controlled from the network it does not exist
- if it has very high revenue and cash flow for me then it is good for customers
- if it does not run in my data center and is fully integrated into all my BSS and OSS then I can not launch it
Unfortunately most operators you speak to still do not realize that these rules have been successfully broken by OTPs.
The same mistakes are still made every day: Joyn, WAC, OneAPI, etc. are all trying to be a standard before being successful, all have to be integrated into all Backoffice systems before launch, etc.
The day telecom operators realize that they have overpaid suppliers to deliver them a too complex architecture to be useful, implemented according to some standard body that is making things too complex in order to still be relevant, etc. will be the day OTPs should be afraid. Unfortunately this day looks like it will never come. If you would bet your house on one bet. What would it be? Telecom operators get over their flawed traditional beliefs or OTPs succeed in converting operators into bitpipes. There is still time to change the future but the future starts today…