Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A good problem to have

Mobile Data Network Brought Down By Usage? That's a good problem to haveAs an engineer who turned to marketing, I keep coming across situations where you want to promise the sky, but you also know the limits. A good lesson one of my previous CEO taught me was: whenever you think of starting the limitation "BUT...", that's when you put the lid on it.
Because that's how technology moves forward. If customers were buying existing technology there wouldn't be any innovation. This is why you want to keep your sales guys somewhat aware of what the product can (or rather, can't) do, but they and the market are the ones who will pull you forward.

The thing is, sometimes you cheat. You know the product can't deliver to the spec. Do BMW's really make it to the top speed? who knows? whose going to test it? The wisdom is not to get caught, at least not big time.

Because when someone calls the bluff, it can become painful. And I think that's what's lined up for operators with their data network. They were betting on lack of applications that will drive the data network. And they were right for the longest while.
Now, when video is hitting the mobile space, uplink and downlink, it is becoming difficult, and frightening.

So when I read this article about "Researcher warns on flat-rate plans’ effect on carriers", and I read "ABI is also worried that unlimited plans may encourage an increase in unsolicited text messages, instant messaging and picture mail usage.", I think, no, they've got the wrong end of the stick. This is the time to crack the champaign. Because for the longest time mobile geeks complained about people "not getting" picture messaging, Mobile IM, Mobile video etc. "usage/adoption is low" you could hear everywhere.

Well if now people get it, then there could not be better news! That is a good problem to have like my friend Jack always tells me. The operators need to figure out how to keep up the technology and harvest the revenues: making their network perform, and cutting rev share deals with content owners and advertisers.

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