The last 20 years have seen huge changes in the telecommunications industry and the next decade will be no different.
AT&T and Version, the two largest phone companies, will be offering bundled packages similar to the cable companies: Internet, TV and Phone. This should result in better services and lower prices for consumers.
In my opinion, bandwidth is the driving factor in opening up the residential markets to a plethora of products and services. Much like the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 provided electricity to areas of the United States that did not have access, fiber and other high speed Internet connections will lead the way for companies to invest in providing consumers with new ways to use the Internet. “If you build it, they will come” to quote a famous movie.
GE was not going to develop, manufacturer and market an electric toaster if there were no customers. The same is true for the Internet. I believe that we have only scratched the surface on what the Internet can and will deliver to people’s homes.
Smart homes and appliances are just a few examples of what is available already. Furnaces and air conditioners would contact the repair company when they need servicing. You can control the home environment from your smart phone so that the lights are on when you pull into the driveway.
It is truly an exciting time to be in the telecommunications industry.
AT&T announced that they lost 1.2 million voice subscribers from a year ago. The writing is clearly on the wall that analog phone service is on its way out.
It is being replaced by VoIP service and wireless. In my opinion, as the infrastructure supporting both networks matures there will be an even faster migration away from wireline providers.
Besides the dramatic cost advantage over wireline services, customers are taking advantage of more features and better access to their accounts. They can manage their bills and make changes to their account online.
The trade off right now is quality of service. Analog lines still offer an advantage when it comes to reliability and better audio. However, this will change over time. Remember, the data networks were never designed with voice transmissions in mind.
The network engineers are playing catch up when it comes to voice, but the demand for better and more reliable service is driving the need for more improved voice networks.
The best is yet to come.
More and more businesses are switching from AT&T to VoIP service providers like Vonage and Comcast. We are switching about two a week. It is all about saving money these days.