Pipeline Publishing, Volume 3, Issue 10
This Month's Issue: 
Beyond Quad Play: XoIP 
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Buying Telecom Futures?

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It is not always best to look only for the ultimate end of a game. Sometimes the outcome is too far in the future to rationalize the strong commitment of current resources to it (an extreme example of this is the global warming dilemma). Other times the stopping point - ending time and state - cannot be known. In this case, it is often best to search for stable equilibrium, and then to pick out and work toward those which appear to present the best results or utility. This may be why progress actually occurs in society even when many short term choices of best interest result in sub-optimal returns. In game theory, one way to find these equilibria is

“by searching focal points, that is, features of some strategies that [the game players] believe will be salient to other players, and that they believe other players will believe to be salient to them. (For example, if two people want to meet on a given day in a big city but can't contact each other to arrange a specific time and place, both might sensibly go to the city's most prominent downtown plaza at noon.) [http://plato.stanford.edu

Growth is still occurring from an overall international perspective, so the industry will be worth perhaps 1.6 trillion dollars in another five years.

Nevertheless, attending the forums is always cost effective, because learning about common trends and communication with other players always provides better information for playing a winning hand in the overall game – even when you decide to buck the common trend. The cost of getting this information in forums and standards groups is actually relatively low. This is why it is important for planners to go to forum and standards meetings. When it is vitally important to make the right future planning decision, attending forums, trade shows, conferences or other focal points also becomes vital - as is reading from journals like this one.

Capital choices
In the Insight Research report, the value of our telecommunications industry is shown to currently exceed 1.2 trillion dollars. Growth is still occurring from an overall international perspective, so the industry will be worth perhaps 1.6 trillion dollars in another five years. This growth may be driven by fresh product demand and extensive new markets, but it’s fueled by capital investment - Billions of dollars worth of investment each year.


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While this is abstract, it nevertheless gives a strong rationale for the existence of forums and standards organizations. These are places where we can meet and discuss relative merits and values of future choices and then commonly seek to cooperate to achieve certain equilibria. I keep arguing for forums even when I must acknowledge that forums are notoriously inefficient even when communication among attendees is very good and honest. Among forum members goals will be different and some players will always see advantage by increasing private interests over achieving the common equilibrium.

Capital investment is a limited, expensive resource. It should be committed to specific projects with very careful planning. If you invest in a non-winning technology or a product the consumers do not want, the capital is wasted. A bad choice can cost a company more that the total cost of your lifetime salary. Commitment of these resources is a competitive game - projects complete for these resources and resulting products compete with other products for the consumer’s interest. How do you choose which is best?

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