The Telecom Future is All About Data

Not that long ago, seat-back entertainment wasn’t common on passenger planes. The personal screens that we now all take for granted were few and far between. So it’s hard to believe that today some commercial airlines are in the process of removing personal screens and instead providing Wi-Fi data for their customers to stream whatever entertainment they please on their smartphones or tablets.

If airlines understand the role of data in our smartphone-dominated lives, then telecommunications companies must also take note. Put simply, fast and reliable data is the greatest source of potential revenue for telecommunications operators. As this paper has argued in the past, we are no longer living in a voice-dominated communications environment. We are less interested in cheap long-distance phone calls than fast data that gives us the choice to communicate over platforms such as Skype or Facebook.

Yet our telecommunications operators have been slow to respond to the changing market demands. Telecom operator are reluctant to accept the data-driven future and cling to outdated packages that force consumers to purchase home telephone and cable television services coupled with data packages. This is a missed opportunity. Many people would probably pay a little more to have a fast data package that allowed them to stream Netflix in high definition and didn’t include a cable television package.

For as long as they remain effectively a monopoly, telecommunications operators can continue to stick to their outdated service packages and enforce their will on the market. In the long-term, this strategy will only hurt their bottom line as ample evidence confirms that people are hungry for data and will happily pay for fast services that enable them to use popular internet services such as WhatsApp and Skype, not to mention streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. It just makes economic sense to accept the change and adapt to the new market demands of data.


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