Mobile Sands

January 21, 2009

Obama’s Inaugration

Filed under: Uncategorized — AJ @ 4:37 am

President Obama was sworn in today and expectations are high everywhere – including the telecom market. Many in the industry expect the new adminstration to have a more proactive technology policy, open up more unlicensed spectrum and maintain net neutrality. 

I consider it unlikely that that adminstration will use the “net neutrality” argument to force mobile wireless operators to open up their networks. As the CTIA argued in its briefing to the Obama transition team, the United States has one of the most competitive wireless markets in the world.  Wireless operators are not monopolies and most have them have paid huge amount of money (since auctions were started in 1990’s) to get exclusive access to their spectrum.  CTIA can also point out that majority of the fundamental innovation in wireless technology- from the first analog mobile phones to TDMA, CDMA and OFDM happened in US.  And, they can add iPhone and Blackberry to that list as well (Yes, I know RIM is Canadian, but wasn’t US their first market?).

I am, however, not arguing that the mobile Internet should be closed. Just that, as long as the adminstration keeps the wired Internet “neutral”, consumers (“market forces”) will keep pushing wireless operators to open their networks.  Wireless operators will find that opening their devices and networks to innovation is a more profitable thing to do than operating walled gardens that no one wants to visit.

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