Telco 2.0 Roadtrip Dublin : Takeaways and Slides

We had about thirty people or more for last Friday’s Telco 2.0 Dublin Roadtrip. Martin Geddes and Norman Lewis treated us to a a few hours of highly stimulating and very thoughtful discussion about where the Telecom industry is headed, and engaged in a relaxed and open Q&A session for an hour to close the event. In attendance were operators (Eircom, O2 and Vodafone), and local technology companies who operate in the Telecom value-chain. The feedback was extremely positive – I hope we can do it again.

Some tidbits that stuck in my mind (in no particular order)

  • Several of the world’s top telecom operators are now studying two-sided business models in some detail, to figure out how they might take advantage of same and evolve their own model.
  • The nannyphone: a phone that sits on the floor and lets kids call their grandparents by pushing a big, green button (button only lights up when a grandparent wants the call). Martin’s idea – several audience members wanted to purchase immediately 🙂
  • Apple has done the Internet parts of the iPhone well, but not the Phone parts. For example – you can’t forward an SMS (Doh!), you can only view SMSs in “conversational” mode (which is not how SMS is mostly used) and the phone book isn’t “active” in any sense (most-used contacts don’t rise to the top of your “recents” list or self-suggest themselves as favourites when you’ve dialled them X times)
  • Video-calling on phones will never take off: when we talk, we can just talk and listen to the other person, but when we video call, our brains are now split, as they try to talk *and* try to calibrate and adjust how we (I) look to the other user at the other end of the call. It’s too “neurologically expensive”. Best reason I’ve heard yet for the failure of video calling, and an improvement on “we don’t want to be seen in our pyjamas”.
  • This generation of kids is the most supervised group of children ever. They have spent the most time in adult company of any generation growing up. The supervision-culture creates a thirst for “freedom”, which they often now find online (in Club Penguin, or CyWorld) instead of in the local field or park (as they’re not allowed go there on their own).
  • “Personalised Logistics Services for Data” is one of the potential roles for Telcos in the future as mapped out by Martin. Think FedEx for bits.
  • “Live” voicemail: imagine a service that allowed businesses to (deliberately) not disturb you by placing a message in your voicemail box (“that item’s in stock now”) but also let you interact with the voicemail when it played (“Press 1 to confirm you want that item and we’ll bill, package and deliver it for you”)

And so on. Many, many good ideas and observations covered. Martin and Norman have put the slides online:

I’ve included one of them here:

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to our sponsors:

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