When I was in Atlanta for the master agent show 2 weeks ago, I moderated a panel about the trends in telecom: Where's the Money for Agents in 2010 and beyond? These slides represent the 3 technologies that will likely pay dividends: Ubiquitous Broadband, QOS, and Apps.
Sprint is pushing M2M cellular data in the form of EVDO backup for DSL and calble modem access. Also, machine-to-machine access like security cameras, MIMO cellular broadband sharing router, and of course the Kindle from Amazon.
Ubiquitous broadband means that the public can access data and apps from any where at any time. Smartphones are pushing networks to the limit (ask AT&T). But wi-fi access and data cards (EVDO) are helping the mobile workforce work any where and access data and apps.
Now the ASP model fell apart - too early, not enough broadband penetration. But the new ASP model, SAAS (software-as-a-service) is picking up steam with SalesForce.com, Google Apps, and Hosted PBX leading the charge.
But all of this data in The Cloud means that networks need to prioritize data for access. Obviously, VoIP and Video need to have QOS (quality of service) or COS (class of service) tagging to meet real-time needs, but email and web surfing can be de-prioritized. Access to databases is another data stream that may need to be prioritized. You will need WAN Optimization gear (like Riverbed) to insure packet prioritization. But what about end to end QOS? Or securing that data stream (as per PCI Compliance)? Well, then you will to be utilizing an MPLS network for traffic segmentation. That's where New Edge and MegaPath see themselves making a splash. IP-VPN still works as well.
So broadband means access to apps; access to apps means QOS is needed. It's a nice circle.