Let the fat pipes sing

Let the fat pipes sing

Tony Poulos  |   April 15, 2011
Telecom Asia

Anyway, what’s wrong with being a big fat pipe? ISPs and fixed-line operators have been playing in this space for years and you don’t hear them complaining. Many of them charge a flat rate for unlimited usage, don’t they? It appears that they have calculated an optimum charging mechanism that accounts for both the over-users and under-users to work out an average. Presumably, they optimize the number of average subscribers, calculate a monthly rate and make money at that level. Of course, they also offer value-added services like IPTV, but for the most part they are simply big fat pipes.

Ah, but mobile spectrum is limited resource, I hear you cry. Yes, but it can also be managed sensibly. So many reports tell us that only a very small percentage of users are abusers, so why keep them as customers? Perhaps the best advice comes from Mark Liversidge, CMO at CSL in Hong Kong, when he said the biggest fear of any new LTE operator is that the industry will fall into the same trap as with 3G - devaluing the new service from day one.

People buying a Mercedes-Benz don’t go into a showroom expecting to pay the same price as a Hyundai, so why do we, as an industry, keep trying to convince our customers to think the opposite? 

Tony Poulos is the BSS evangelist for the TM Forum and a regulator contributor to Telecom Asia

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