Considering my client has been waiting 2 months to port DIDs from an AT&T PRI to Birch POTS lines, no kidding AT&T is not a Phone Company any more! Plus I have other clients that AT&T is calling to tell them to get off the copper. Move to fiber. The company only has one T1 technician for large areas (covering 5-6 central offices).
"We don't view ourselves as a phone company anymore," said Ralph de la Vega, the company's longtime mobile chief who took on greater responsibilities beyond phones after a company reorganization. [source]
AT&T is focused on Latin America and other global expansion; TV (hence the DirecTV acquisition it is still waiting for); US cellular with MDM and IoT; and home automation. It is now doing what Sprint tried to do 6 years ago by leading the cellular ecosystem with applications, tracking, etc. Even Verizon is getting out of the phone business. It is selling its stakes in FL, CA and TX to Frontier.
Europe is trending with all-Wi-Fi-based voice and data service. The US has a few versions of this - like Republic Wireless, FreedomPop, and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Freewheel, a wi-fi only device "powered by cableco's wi-fi hotspots". Is there enough wi-fi coverage to supplant a cellular data plan? Not yet anyway.
"Are carriers - now branching out beyond circuits and voice into all manner of cloud services, vertical offerings and even professional services - bringing channel partners along on this ride?" Good question from CP. In some cases, YES. In some cases, a specialized service provider like West IP or InContact make a better case for a channel partner.
I don't know how well EarthLink's retail offerings are pulling in the channel, but the story is right. It just depends on how many channel partners are selling retail (and trust EarthLink).
How many Channel Partners are out there? Another good question. At one time, it was said that the telecom channel was 7,000 strong. Just agents is probably in the 3500 range. Then on the VAR side, what used to be estimated at between 42,000 and 65,000 has probably shrunk to about half of that on the high side - 32K. Many VARs are still in business but doing other things like programming, integration and other tech work. Just selling stuff was never what they liked to do. But we can fight over these numbers any time you want.
A collection of start-up pitch decks. Look at the difference between deck 1 and 2 for MatterMark. I am coaching at Startup Surge Tampa next Friday. This will come in handy.