I made a similar choice in 1990
when I had opportunities to work
for a major energy company or
join MCI in starting its data
division. Energy or Telecom:
which would be the best opportunity?
Predictive modeling or communications
protocols: which would be more
satisfying? I chose telecom,
and for the last decade of the
20th Century, I clearly chose
correctly. Still, industries
swing back and forth and certainly
the energy sector has done better
this decade. Did I make a mistake
in not switching?
But why this preamble about
questions at the balance point?
I believe similar questions face
us today: traditional or non-traditional
communications? Traditional or
SOA software development systems.
Traditional or next generation
OSS models? Where should we cast
our carriers? Who will win out
at the turn of this decade? Every
one of these questions is crucial.
Is telecom still relevant?
Traditional communications is
a world where the service providers
are responsible for building
the networks, providing the new
communications services, and
managing the lot. Non traditional
communications is the evolution
of the “Stupid Network”:
a world where innovation comes
from computer companies (e.g.,
Microsoft, Apple, Intel), Portal
companies (Google, Yahoo, eBay,
Amazon), and software companies
(Oracle, SAP, IBM) and networks
are distributed lily pads in
a peer-interconnected pond.
Putting it on the line for this
pivotal question, The Insight
Research Corporation has just
released a new study "The
Future of Telecommunications
2006-2011". I am not here
to review this study or say they
are right or wrong, but rather
to show that they are clearly
touching on a major question
confronting us today. In the
wake of the burst bubble and
the dual trends of service provider
consolidation and growth of the
internet fringe industries, what
will tomorrow’s communications
world look like?