Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What Next in Telecom? Investment Opportunities

To analyze investment opportunities in Telecom we need to answer first what next in Telecom and then analyze them from investment perspective.

What next in Telecom ?

1. Telecom companies will transform from being Utility Companies to New Age Marketing Conglomerates ..Serving Entertainment, Financial, Education, Business Services, E Commerce and yes Communication too.

2. Voice will become a commodity and even can become free with advertisement sustaining the ecosystem. VOIP, WiMax can make the basic voice free

3. Communication will be intelligent - Video along with Voice, Even in future Smell also ..also Real time language Translation , Speech to text capability

4. Mobile or End device will become part of a large real time data collection and analytical grid – like sensing pollution, traffic patterns, weather information, smart driving, location based communication

Analyzing these trends, we can develop insight about investment opportunities

Operators with New business models –

  • Offering voice as free and leveraging advertisements , data analytics and other services to sustain the ecosystem

Hardware – Telecom Infrastructure – Today geared for traditional voice model, this will transformed into conglomerate.

  • Need of Telecom infrastructure will be transformed to High Reliability, Real time transaction capability, Opex Saving, High traffic enabling
  • Vertical Focused- Finance , Entertainment , Education, Ecommerce


  • End user equipment – VOIP, WiMax
  • Low Cost equipment for Developing world
  • User Interface for browsing, entertainment, financial transaction, Education, ecommerce
  • Video and Picture capability
  • Smell Sensing Capability
  • Real time translation capability
  • Speech to Text Capability
  • Sensing capability – Air Pollution, Weather, Noise, Traffic
  • Improvement in Storage , Power Usage, Cost


  • Software is intelligent layer enabling Equipment and hardware to perform above tasks in cost effective, efficient and user friendly way – There will be bunch of tools, components developing enablers or solving one or more pain points for the new ecosystem
  • Special use will drive special needs like security and identity in financial transaction, Multiple identity for family, communication, entertainment
  • Specialized capability to try free voice model sustained by real time advertisements
  • Collaboration need in education, entertainment ( multi user games)
  • Analytical capability for analyzing sensed real time data

Value Added Service

  • Content for this new ecosystem ( Creation and Delivery )
  • There will be hundreds of value added services which will be part of ecosystem in above scenario from simple ones like ringtones collection to very complex smell library

I foresee that while existing companies will try to extend their products and services or transform themselves for this scenario, there will defnately be place for new companies to come with new models like Yahoo, Google, ebay, Amazon, Hotmail did it in internet era.

Law of Nature - Old has to give place to new, Finally there will be emergence of a new company which will dominate mobile Ecosystem- Like Microsoft did it in PC era , Google did it in Internet . History says this company might not be an innovator but a “fast follower”. Which one that will be? A future billionaire in making?

Publishing Date : July 2008