I’ve spent 16 years in telecom, and all of a sudden I seem to work in the TV business.
One of the newsletters I like to read for general industry coverage is USTelecom Daily Lead. Lately I’ve noticed that more and more of its coverage is dedicated to digital content, and particularly to streaming video news. A recent issue, for example, aggregates news relating to AT&T’s digital life home monitoring and on-demand streaming services; Verizon FiOS TV; DISH TV Everywhere; Netgear’s streaming TV device; and Cisco’s Internet TV plans.
So, when did Telecom become TV? This myopic obsession with consumer-facing digital video services is kind of embarassing. Are we bored with our own industry? Are we so obsessed with over-the-top competition that we can’t talk about anything else?
In fairness to the newsletter, it does regularly cover news about industry M&A activity and cloud services. SDNs are also a frequent topic and one we ought to address more often here in BillingViews. I’ll also submit that there may be such TV-heavy coverage right now because CES just concluded; streaming media devices and consumer-facing applications were in the spotlight.
But, let’s be wary here folks. As easy as it is to make things like streaming TV services sound exciting, they still don’t pay the freight (according to Ovum) for the Telecom industry. SDN might be closer to the mark. Cloud-services certainly are. At the end of the day, making money in telecom is still about providing smarter, faster, safer, and more versatile connectivity and communications – especially on a very large scale – to other industries.
I love Netflix and HBO GO, but when it comes to rooting for our industry – the telecom industry – I love global connectivity, mobility, and secure transactional infrastructure more. Let’s not forget that it’s those sorts of complex, capital-intensive things that make the telecom industry the key enabler for what everyone else is trying to do. Everything from online TV to M2M needs telecom to do its part extremely well.
So, to paraphrase a few American clichés, we might have “fallen in love at first sight” with the “belle of the ball,” but we still need to “dance with the one who brung ya.”