ITS 2014: Standalone Mobile Business Model – disrupts or to be disrupted

From 22nd – 25th June 2014, I attended the European Regional International Telecommunication Society Conference (ITS 2014), Brussels, Belgium (http://www.itseurope.org/), where I presented two papers: the first paper  titled “The Incentives and Challenges of Delivering Linear Broadcasting Services over Cellular Network in Developing Countries” while the second paper titled “Regulation development on licensed shared access and TV white spaces”. The general theme for the ITS conference this year was about “Disruptive innovation in the ICT industries: Challenges for European policy and business”.

The speakers during the conference days focus on the business and regulation implications that could result from the emerging technological innovations in the telecommunication sector. Here I recall Dr. Richard Hawkins speech about technological advances and innovation in policy domain which has taken place during the plenary session, in which he indicate that the standalone mobile model is under pressure and mobile operators need to be more innovative in order to secure additional revenue streams. In other words, the multi-level platforms offered by the Over the top (OTT) service providers are challenging the mobile operator to create new business strategy in order  grap more share from the generated profits by IT and content providers such as Google, Netflix and Facebook. Moreover, the need for innovations in policy side is becoming more pressing and the policy makers are facing the dilemma to either keep pushing the idea of “network neutrality” or to allow telecom operators to practice some sort of traffic discrimination.  Here we can recall the debate in USA which has followed the decision of the federal court to relax the FCC’s “open internet” rules and to allow internet service providers to charge companies like Google and Netflix higher fees to deliver their content at high data rate. But the big entertainment companies such as Netflix are not willing to pay high fees to assure the transfer of their multimedia content efficiently on the Internet’s backbone.  In this regard, the panelist in the Techno-Economic Methodologies for evaluating ICT Infrastructures discuss the need to consider more comprehensive model (that may incoporate some concepts from the institution  economic theory ) to estimate the services transaction cost rather than traditional model such as the Long Run Incremental Cost (LRIC).

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