I think you are missing some cultural telco issues Andrew
Telcos tend to be bloated bureaucracies full of unproductive staff who have very poor motivation levels due to an inability for anyone to achieve anything or to change the internal culture which stops them achieving. Many got this way by being a de-facto or royal chartered monopoly across large chunks of the globe and the mind set has not changed. Telcos are not a meritocracy where the innovative and productive get promoted, they are spat on and undermined by the herds of bovine wastrels who are still there because they can't get a job anywhere else and don't want to be shown up as useless and unproductive. The senior execs stay long enough to get a golden parachute and the good ones are gone well before it becomes obvious that their "changes" reinforced rather than addressed the underlying chronic issues.
In a telco, the investment case will be based on a 10 to 20 year lifecycle, the culture does not allow anything shorter than this, thus the need for uber standards that take ETSI or GSMA 5 years to bugger up, sorry, refine. You need standards like this if you are going to live with them for 20 years. This problem does not exist in the land of Twitter and Salesforce.
In a telco the management exist in a binary state of either;
a) No investment in new services, particularly non core, use all value added services to drive core network and billing traffic, that is our core business
b) We can't afford to be just a big dumb pipe, we must extend into the value added services, our pipes give us the competitive advantage over everyone else.
Clearly, these two result in an oscillation within the organisation rather than any sustained progress, any employee who could innovate and drive the dinosaur forward will leave in < 1.5 cycles or simply lose the will to live. Again, in an app store world this problem doesn't exist as the lean and agile app store vendor knows what they want to do and if they don't the other 5 just like them do and will out-compete them.