Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am not obsessed with AAPT

Truly, I am not obsessed by AAPT, but I do want to note the comments made today by AAPT CEO in Communications Day forecasting the year ahead.

He made four points;
1. 2010 will be a game changer, given the regulatory agenda on the NBN. He thinks what happens next will determine if a truly level playing field will emerge.
2. He thinks convergence is finally here. He also thinks the dominance of wireless over fixed will be consolidated over the next 12 months. He really thinks mobility will be favoured over speed.
3. People will continue to choose smart devices over a proliferation of devices.
4. And he says the standard line about continued marketplace consolidation still stands.

Interesting points wit which I totally disagree.

While 2010 will be momentus and there are big regulatory issues on foot, these will take between three and eight years to fully play out. And nothing i the short term is going to change the significant advantages Telstra and Optus still have from sheer scale in the retail market.

Convergence is no more here this year than last year - it is a process not an event. We will continue converging. As for the suggestion that consumrs will choose mobility over speed the facts are that nothing in the data suggests that many customers are substituting wireless data for fixed - they are getting both. The twin demand is mutually sustaining.

Having just acquired a TiVO and still eying off a Kindle, I can tell you that I for one am looking for purpose built connected devices. I can read e-books on a PC, I can use Windows Media Centre and online EPGs to run a PVR. Neither is as convenient as a Kindle and a TiVO.

Finally it is great to see the standard line about industry consolidation - it is just that it has never come true. he number of licenced carriers has increased every year since 1997. Yes mergers take place, but at a slower rate than new entry.

But the real challenge for Broad if he believes what he writes is how to come up with a strategy. The Telecom acquisition of PowerTel was built on a belief of the need to reduce cost by acquiring network. If the game is about wireless not about fixed where can he go?

Maybe there is some truth to the rumour that Broad is trying to sell AAPT (consumer at last) to VHA.

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