Revenue streams for telecom companies are shifting - shifting down.
"For example, a couple of years ago SMS and ring-back tones were the most important services for China Mobile, but now ″revenue is declining,″ as a result of competition from OTT services, Deng told Total Telecom on Tuesday. ″Operators are not willing to be the dumb pipe; they want a bigger share of the cake, but OTT players are too strong, said Deng. In addition, voice revenues are declining. If things do not change, ″many operators will go bankrupt,″ he warned."
Fighting not to become a dumb pipe, because, as Level(3) knows all too well, there isn't that much margin in a dumb pipe. Verizon and AT&T are trying to avoid being a dumb cellular pipe too. VoIP providers, Apple, Amazon, Google/Android are all taking bigger pieces of the pie.
Many WISP's just sell bandwidth, a finite resource. Many ISP's just resell DSL, T1 and MetroE from the Duopoly. It's a limited model reselling dumb pipe.
The money is in Layer 7, applications, services, management, security and backup.