Friday, December 07, 2007

The Buzz on OPEN

Om writes about the cellcos - att mobility & VZW - being OPEN. It's just spin.

Buzz words usually lead to confusion. (Like WiMax). Especially to the consumer, which I think is the point. Treat the consumer like mushrooms -- keep them in the dark and feed them manure. (Politicians and FCC officials you have to feed money).

Open doesn't mean that it is easy to use a phone you own, but that is as open as it gets in the States. Since cellular penetration is approaching 90%, it is now a flat market. Now the carriers start playing take-away.

Two things become important: Acquisition Costs and Customer Retention. Carriers don't look at Retention metrics because the Street doesn't. But that should change. Acquisition costs in a flat market are big. (Look at VZ FiOS costs to get TV customers, another flat market).

One of the biggest acquisition costs is the phone subsidy. It would make sense to let the customer buy his/her own phone. No subsidy cost.

Plus it is a "Green" maneuver. No phone added to the landfill. (Speaking to this, why doesn't every cellco recycle cell phones?)

BTW, Skype petitioned the FCC to apply the Carterphone decision to cellular networks. If Carterphone were applied, any device could be used on the cellular network.

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