AMAZON, FACEBOOK, AND GOOGLE COULD BE THE END OF TELCOS
If you want to watch the most diverse shows on earth, the first thing that usually comes to your mind is to switch on your television set. One thing you might not know, however, is that majority of the shows you watch on TV is handled by a small number of people. Remember that 90/10 financial rule where 90 percent of the money is held by 10 percent of the economy? Well, in the world of entertainment and TV to be precise, 90 percent of the shows are handled by 10 percent of the companies. Even of you have got a Comcast, and on it, you are viewing a show from the NBC, you are still subscribing to the infrastructure set up by one company.
To get into this business too is AT&T and if their race to acquire Time Warner is approved by regulators, they would also get into this compact system of TV programs and content deliverers, further making the system much more concentrated. With the internet, we were supposed to get an improvement and see most of the trouble not handled by all of these Telcos anymore. However, the internet might just be here to compound the problems for them. Looking at what is happening today, internet powers such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google have succeeded in displacing more media companies than they have helped.
We are not saying the internet platforms are bad, far from it, but it is just reasonable why they are the ones posing a serious threat to Telcos. They don’t mean to send the media companies packing but inadvertently, in their bid to grow and allow users do almost anything with their platforms, this is just what they have achieved. Most of the contents that we would like to see, view and consume are already hosted on these internet shops, and they even go on to produce more of it or our consumption. When they are not the ones making the content, they are the ones supplying the infrastructure that carries such data. On top of everything, these large establishments are beginning to sell Internet Access.
SIGNALS AT WAR
If you have heard of Google’s Google Fi project, you would know that they are trying to shift the focus of Internet to wireless, and they aim to achieve this by laying a lot of groundwork with fiber optic cables. While the development might seem a nice one, it would be nice to see the mobile service of this platform as a more radical element. Google would not have to build any cell towers of their own but just sell access to the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile.
When roaming with your device, your smartphone can hop around and find the best network around, but that is only applicable in the occasion where your carrier’s signal is unavailable. This means that if you’ve got little or no signal bar, you are dammed to use it like that till you get to a better location. However, what Google Fi does is ensure that you have the best signal at any and all points in time. If this is allowed to go on, people will start migrating from signing up with a single carrier to having an agreement with a network broker instead. This would be a juicy option, given that they would be able to use the best signal at every point in time. The signals are at war, and Telcos are on the losing part.
Artemis Networks succeeded in creating a wireless network of internet system and this they named pCell technology. Normally, they would have to start selling their service plans to people like most carriers in the US would have done but instead, they have opted to license their service to VPN providers. On the other hand, Google is looking to expand the face of Google Fi such that they people would be able to connect to a local Wi-Fi with a single login detail. However, this network cannot be complete if there are no others that would build the pieces of such network. This is where Facebook rears its head.
Facebook has made its intention known to beam internet waves into remote locations and densely populated urban areas earlier in the year. They have no intention of selling the network services themselves, but they hope to see others use this medium to get high-speed internet into regions that are lacking. With this infrastructure on the ground, Google would be able to capitalize on it to create networks that could break national barriers. This would shift the power from the likes of AT&T and Verizon to the new player in the mix – the likes of Google
THE DARK FIBRE
Let’s assume these tech companies – Amazon, Facebook, and Google – don’t slip off the keys of the internet lordship from the Telcos, there are still some ways to keep the Telcos alive and weak. For long, the trio listed above have been buying a lot of unused optic fiber cable that has been laid, and these have been termed ‘dark fiber’ over the years. This is in a bid to get connected without having to depend on the traditional telecoms companies.
Amazon, on the one hand, runs what has been deemed the biggest cloud hosting service in the world by some experts. Google is not resting on its oars to get even more people to host their contents on its AMP service. Facebook is also not far behind, luring a lot of investors into trusting its Instant Articles platform. While it is hard to know how much infrastructure these people have got, it has already been determined in a WSJ report that Google could have 60,000 miles of fiber optic routes more than Sprint. With these kinds of scary numbers, if the tech companies have not already won the Telcos at their game, it is just a matter of little time before that happens.