back to article Telecom bigwigs: 'We're all friends – really'

A gaggle of the world's top telecom grandees put on a show of smiling unanimity as the Mobile World Congress got underway in a kumbaya-fest that masked the intense competition among them. Get the bosses of Telefonica, Vodafone, AT&T, Telecom Italia, and China Mobile together – five men who have a significant majority of the …

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Anonymous Coward

Cry me a river

If they think its not worth it, they should close shop, no?

2 year tie-ins with shitty handsets, roaming rates price gouging, drip feeding data and allowances. They sure want their pound of flesh wherever they look.

Bastards all.

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Bronze badge

Re: Cry me a river

If you really want to get their attention, stop using those fucking things.

Nothing gets a businessman's attention better than to watch his cash flow dry up.

Control is in the palm of your hand. Let your cash do some talking. Price too high? When your contract is over, ditch the dammed thing. Consumers do not owe these bastards a living.

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Happy

Re: Cry me a river

or the practical compromise. Buy a new battery for the phone off ebay and go to a minimal 300 texts 100 mins 10 quid a year contract

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Silver badge

Competition

So there is too much competition in the mobile carrier markets but not enough in the in the OS & browser markets?

I've got scads if choice in OS and in browsers, only two choice in mobile. Maybe I'm just not understanding. Maybe I should read the fine print that accompanies the keynotes where I'm sure ill discover how they are trying to give me the stuff one eye.

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Bronze badge

Re: Competition

The problem for mobile operators is that spectrum is finite. If there are too many players in a given market then not everyone gets enough to run a comprehensive network. I have no idea though what the commercial or technical remedy would be to allow more competition with that finite spectrum - the mobile equivalent of something like Openreach or Network Rail?

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Re: Competition

Quite. The issue is exactly the same as the issue that another El Reg hack pretends doesn't exist: the (US) Cable TV non-compete duopoly (there are two players, but they agreed not to compete, leaving less than two).

The delivery of service (whether via fiber/cable or wireless spectrum) has to be considered separately from the service being delivered. Because spectrum is finite, it is actually beneficial that there are as few competitors as possible (i.e. two), but what is HARMFUL is that those competitors monopolize the services available, since consumer preferences imply that there should be a large number of service providers accessible across the limited number of connection providers.

That further suggests that the right model is to unbundle connections from services, so that e.g. I can use Verizon's wireless service to access my AT&T phone services (or vice versa).

Of course, the chance of anything like that happening is nil, because in addition to the vested interests of the Telco giants, you have monsters like the one in Cupertino that wants -- more than anything -- to control every aspect of whatever it is you do with the gizmo they make.

Hmmm... on second thoughts, maybe that's the one (remote possibility) way that unbundling _could_ happen: Apple contracting with (e.g.) Verizon in much the same way as Amazon contracted with Sprint for their Whispernet service?

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FAIL

4G is pointless in North America

AT&T CEO says "He also sees the move from 3G to 4G as being as disruptive as the move from analog to 2G."

It could be disruptive, but 4G is pointless for AT&T customers because of the 2GB data caps.

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K
Bronze badge

Re: 4G is pointless in North America

Ditto for the UK...

3G offers me enough to do my mobile browsing, but I don't stream to my phone because I only get 1Gb bandwidth on my tarrif, so imagine that problem on 4G. I believe 4G has the potential to be disruptive to the likes of fixed broadband, but only once the bandwidth limits become realistic, EE are offering 2 for $40+ per month, simple put, I would burn through that in an evening.

Though it will be interesting to see the tarriffs 3 offers :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4G is pointless in North America

also the technical effiency of 4g over 3g is not that great... bit per Hz, all it really means is more spectrum

as disruptive as my ass-which occasionally is

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Stop

Be Alert

Alierta also dusted off his old argument that he wants to charge Google, Facebook, and friends for taking advantage of his precious network. That same network that is supposedly already paid for by the customer yet still has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century in terms of bandwith, services, etc...

Maybe when he's got his bunged-up bit pipes sorted out he can start thinking about charging double.

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Bronze badge

Re: Be Alert

He sounds like that asshole who ran AT&T a few years ago, doesn't he. He went on about it "being their pipes, and anyone who used them was going to pay". I wish I could remember his name.

(later: Thank you google, I found out his name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Whitacre,_Jr.)

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Facepalm

Really?

Fierce competitors? Don't make me laugh, they are mostly the kings of price fixing.

BTW, Mr. Alierta was proven guilty of insider trading a few years ago but was lucky that the statute of limitations for such crimes kicks in really early in Spain.

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4G (once they uncap it) is going to be good for mobiles, but the disruptiveness is going to stem from the hammering of DSL/cable/T1 usage across urban and suburban homes and businesses. Businesses are slowly but steadily waking up to the fact that they no longer have to depend on wire carriers and their 8-week "we cannot commit to an install date, but we'll try moderately hard" install/move schedules.

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