In 1984 the telecom world was 1% of 1st world GDP, dominated by national monopolies (Goliath dinosaurs), mainly Government owned. It was based on internationally agreed standards so every phone could reach every other phone, but less than half of households had a phone.
Then it got hit by the ‘ations: deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation and internationalisation. And “mobile” started. In almost every nation several new entrants appeared, and to survive the Goliaths set up arms-length mobile subsidiaries.
100% of Goliaths and start-ups became billion-revenue companies within a few years, and survive today, although consolidation may disguise them as units within fewer, much bigger multinational Goliaths. It is now the Connectivity world, encompassing infrastructure, handsets, content, media etc. and makes up more than 4% of the Global GDP – there are more handsets than men, women, children and babies on the planet. Common standards mean every device can communicate with any other.
Are we about to start the third cycle? Is IoT (internet of things) and/or 4G The Next Big Thing or just big things? Will Davids or Goliaths or both emerge as the winners? We will ask a Goliath, an OTT (over the top) and a David their perspectives, taking examples such as 4G, IoT, “digital dust”, VR, robots & drones, AI and other potential disruptions.