A friend of mine's Miami-based company was acquired by another, and now he works for them at quadruple the salary. Party anyone? ;-)
He's a wizard at flash, Asterisk, php, etc. but just learning about the mobile world. After a discussion with him about this, he said, "Suzanne, you are an ex-English teacher with no computer or networking degrees, so you would be perfect to explain why wireless carriers are fighting for the same pieces of revenue and control of networks and what is making it so complicated? Also what are some ways carriers can make money besides charging more for data and Internet? Just pretend the audience is the group of middle school kids you taught at George Washington Carver Middle."
Deep breath ... okay ...
The increased speed of access to the Internet and lower latency (delay in packet delivery or when one component is spinning its wheels on the the Internet, waiting for another component, wasted time) have enabled a revolution called the application market.
Without the network, the Blackberry RIM, virtual phone lines, iPhone; the plethora of cell phone accessories, and open source telephony applications like FreeSWITCH, Asterisk, Symbian, and Kamilio would not have accomplished as much as they have. Sure, IP PBX was and is there, but 3G has taken these tools (like RIM) and more to really change the world.
Such is the reason that 4G Wireless Evolution in Los Angeles, CTIA Enterprise & Applications in San Francisco and 4G World in Chicago, all conferences in October, need the presence of entrepreneurs, investors and developers because 4G is the next stage in network evolution.
All three are conferences scheduled for October 2010, busy month.
Many have said voIP is dead and wireless networks are nothing more than "dumb pipes?"
That is like saying that hip hop is dead and drums are nothing more than "dumb musical instrument digital interfaces."
Certain "sounds" tell me I'm receiving calls using different SIP agents on my Verizon Motorola Droid, and I can make calls with them also.
I might talk, listen, sing, argue or other things with the other person more often, thanks to the less expensive, flexibility and feature-richness of voIP. When I hear a drum beat, my body starts moving.
The instrument needs the person using it to create "magic." The "magic" wouldn't be there without the instrument. The person using the instrument is active, and active means some kind of production... economic improvement.
What have the wireless carriers invested? Billions of dollars squirreling away spectrum needed to support those "dumb" networks. In addition, they spend more billions to get new customers than they do to keep them. In other words it is more expensive to get them than to keep them. And so many of us switch from carrier to carrier several times in even a year's time, looking for the best deal and wanting to be treated well and honestly.
Spectrum and customers are the mobile carriers' investments. So, of course, they want to generate increasing revenues from those funds invested.
Again, in the business model of 2010, without the carriers, there are no mobile applications and a bunch of people with great ideas for apps, stagnate in their cognitive surplus.
In addition, more information and commerce is taking place over data and mobile Internet, a big change from the traditional PSTN teleconference, watching a Power Point presentation, facsimile, and postmail.
So, carriers spend more money on spectrum, to get ready.
Customers (consumers) want more from their wireless contract.
Businesses and entrepreneurs who create and want to sell applications and content and the customers who want to buy and use them, feel closeted from necessary access to the pipe.
It's like telling everyone, there's the party, but it is a sin to dance.
The developers have created the "electric slides," "chicken dances," "algorithm marches" and "macarenas." The drums are there, but the dancers can't have fun.
New problem for the wireless industry. More spectrum is needed. Spectrum is becoming increasingly rare. Whatever is left... who pays for it? How do they make money from it? When it's all gone, where are the alternatives?
Start asking more questions. What is driving the huge increases in data usage on mobile phones? What is there to consider in answering these questions or more that you and they out there are asking right now. And... there are questions that still haven't been asked, they will be answered, we'll find our solution. But ask the questions. No question is stupid.
You've got the drums, the person who made the drums, the thing or person who is creating the noise on the drums, the person who created the dance, and the person dancing.
Dagnamit! Let's dance!