Is Cisco about to knock out the Mobile Operators ?

Posted on June 15, 2016


Its been heralded many times,  the cornering of the mobile operator into just being a dumb pipe.  WhatsApp and Instagram have stolen the messaging business.  Will Cisco Spark, and the other new incantations of VoiP (or VoLTE if you prefer, mean that their voice revenue will go the same way.

Of course the operators will sell us bundles of data, messaging and calls,  but the price of these will drop as the perceived value drops through the erosion above.

Calls provided by the operators will remain the best, most reliable for some time to come.  They need to introduce more, better QoS in their networks, and really raise the game on calls, quality(clarity), reliability and the ability to all anyone anywhere are the key.

If Spark and similar are tightly embedded in the Mobile interface, and become just as easy to use a a phone call,  then there is a chance they will have a serious impact on the telcos. Tie into that the seamless sharing of desktops/camera views to turn a voice call into a video call or screen share will only drive us away from the voice only calls of the operators. So,  operators,  brush of SIP Simple or similar, and just make it work.  Forget the internal politics, overcome the core network configuration issues, because this is existential.

I’d like the ability to use call circuits to manage voice enabled bot interactions just so I can get a hold of those characteristics, rather than hoping for a good link over the internet. Also then if I am in a call I could just press a button to send the current call audio to a bot for it to work on,  eg answer a question, provide advice etc.

They need to break messaging out of SMS, replacing the (failed) MMS with a service with proper multimedia support, ubiquitous delivery, and flawless rendering on all devices.  The GSMA and similar need to get going on agreeing standards that will allow this to happen. Otherwise ubiquity, the last stump card left with SMS will be removed, and a whatsapp or similar will sweep the board.

Otherwise the telcos will not have sufficient revenue to continue improving the radio and core networks,  which are now intrinsic to daily life, and therefore must continue to have improvements and capacity growth for many years to come.