What is this that stands before me …

Ozzy Osbourne wailing this line in 1970 demarcated the birth of heavy metal. Lately this line also springs to mind when I read about the latest “discoveries” in service delivery paradigms presented by telecom operators.

To them, it still seems to be the middle ’90s when the Internet was regarded to be an interesting experiment that would soon erode and be replaced by the constellations developed by the telecom industry. And while no one still argues that the Internet Protocol should by replaced by the much more powerful Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) when it comes to service provisioning the telco industry still dreams up very complex service delivery platforms. And yes, from an academic approach that would be the way to go. But apparently telcos lack the power to execute such a strategy. Location-based services and the corresponding service architectures were a new and coming thing in the late 1990s. Had the industry acted on it at the time, the telcos could have been today’s Google. However, instead of bringing the idea to market the industry discussed for over a decade what would the business model and what would be the technology to deliver LBS. Would it be SOAP? Or would it be CORBA? Or maybe, yet something else.

Meanwhile, Google did what at the time everyone believed to be impossible, they paid people to drive around the globe and collect information about cell coverage. Suddenly, the information that telcos believed to be pure gold had evaporated because Google provided it for free. But instead of learning from this experience, the telco industry apparently think they have only lost a battle and not the war and dream up exciting new services such as the Rich Communication Suite.

What is this that stands before me? Well, being a former Bellhead myself I hate to admit it, but it might very well be a herd of dinosaurs.


About Mike Schenk

Former Bellhead turned Nethead.
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