A 2004 report I wrote for a global handset manufacturer on how to survive in an over-the-top world. Whilst I didn't get everything right, and I would present it differently today, it was pretty insightful for its time.
The Stupid Network: A User Guide
Prepared for Cinderella
Martin Geddes, Director
10 December 2004
Carriers keep control of the wireless value web by controlling pinch points on the flow
of value through handsets, networks and retail supply chains. This gives them power
over their suppliers. They can also perform fine-grained price discrimination against
users for the value that flows over the network. A move to open all-IP networks
undermines this business model, and enables massive disintermediation of carrier toll
systems. This paper describes the mechanics of this change, what the important value
creators will be in an all-IP world, and suggests strategies and tactics for the varying
market conditions along the way.
7 Nov 04
22 Nov 04
3 Dec 04
10 Dec 04
18 Dec 04
Document outline created.
Cinderella v0.2 comments addressed.
Added context diagram for the strategies; details
on trust, billing, abuse; executive summary.
14 Dec conference call comments addressed
For Telepocalypse Ltd.:
Martin Geddes, Director
26/5 Annandale St., Edinburgh,
EH7 4AN, UK.
Skype: mgeddes Yahoo: mgeddes_uk
About the Author
Martin Geddes is thinker, writer, coder, inventor, agitator, irritant and consultant. He
writes the popular telecom strategy weblog www.telepocalypse.net, cited by Business
Week and Forbes among others. Before becoming an independent consultant he was a
technology specialist and product strategy manager at Sprint in Kansas City, USA.
During his time at Sprint he filed 17 patents on various mobile handset and edge service
technologies. Martin also has extensive hands-on experience in the IT industry building
large transactional systems at Oracle Corporation. He holds a bachelor's degree in
Mathematics and Computation from Oxford University.
“Who will be the biggest losers [from VOIP]? Not the fixed-line telcos, even though
their revenues may fall by 25% by 2010 due to VOIP, according to Mr Mewawalla. The
mobile operators are likely to be the big losers, with their revenues plunging by 80%.
Together, VOIP and wireless broadband could fatally undermine their costly thirdgeneration (3G) networks.” - The Economist, 2 December 2004