Rethinking The Democratization of Mobile Communications

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Roy Timor-Rousso, Kandy fring GM

More people with smart phones…
More Internet access points with the growth of WiFi and hot spots…
More developer platforms and the rise of real time communications APIs…
 
The democratization of mobile communications has grown in many aspects, and in 2014 we find ourselves at the intersection of “open” and “opportunity.” All bets are off when it comes to the traditional mobile ecosystem, as the lines continue to blur between what we used to refer to as “wireless” and “wired,” and as the software interconnecting networks and enabling interworking makes it possible to “federate everything.”
 
Consumers rule. They own their own identity, their mobile number, can chose the devices they desire, can choose how to connect (Internet, PSTN or both) and can elect pre-paid or post-paid.
 
Communications Service Providers Also Rule
 
They can choose to provide only the services they wish to provide (only voice, only voice and text, only video conferencing, and multiple mixes). They can leverage both Internet and PSTN, without having to tie their business with any specific hardware with the advent of Network Virtualization, or telecommunications wholesale provider. The pricing models can be by the drop, by the seat, by the pipe, or by the amount of water flowing through the pipe.
 
We have learned to scale the wall gardens, and in fact start dismantling them, which has consequences, for better and for worse, to the economics associated with the delivery of services on the top and bottom lines. Over-the-top voice services have evolved to incredibly intuitive and attractive over-the-top multimedia experiences, and it is no longer necessary for one to be connected to a radio access network in order to communicate nomadically.
 
Bigger broadband Internet offers new ways of engaging with each other and with news, entertainment and resources, from home, from the office, from the airplane, in a cab. “The cloud” (actually an aggregation of millions of connected clouds) serve up video conferencing, asset storage, data back-up, and more.  Videos, images, games, music, and breaking news is delivered to us in extreme real time, and the applications to improve education, farming, healthcare, banking, travel, and more are changing the way we live in ways we may not even be able to imagine – yet.
 
Our devices enable us to live very rich, full lives, multitasking with family, friends and co-workers, deeply influencing what is to be human and connected.
 
With the democratization of anything – similar to the commoditization of anything – comes greater creativity – competition – and a call for every business who is in the business of enabling real time communications to rethink everything.
 
Consider the “World Wide Web” – only twenty years ago, web development was hard to do, and websites cost – literally – millions of dollars to build. Today, simple but professional looking websites can be developed for free in five minutes using platforms like Yola, Wix and Weebly.
Twenty years ago, companies had to hire expensive “PR” firms to get their messages out, but today blogging is free for everyone, and quality content is now what’s working. Even “SEO” has become commoditized, and brands are looking for unique ways to engage with customers and prospects that goes beyond “discovery” to more intimate interactive relationship building.
All of us in the voice business have witnessed the impact of “free” and have seen service providers scrambling to free themselves from the “race to zero” and compete with the likes of Skype and WhatsApp.
 
Developers Really Rule!
 
With the rapid advancement of the “new mobile paradigm” and waves of democratization that keep coming, and are in fact building, communications service providers are finding success in the world of applications and in the new “mobile ecosystem” that transcends the old definitions mainly associated with CDMA, GSM, 3G, 4G, networks and devices and now is truly an open apps ecosystem with developer platforms opening up new ways to create cool experiences that help attract and retain subscribers.
Last week, GENBAND formally launched our Kandy Platform-as-a-Service, which is centered around “Outcomes-as-a-Service” and designed specifically to enable systems integrators, independent software vendors, communications service providers, and enterprises to access not only our APIs, SDKs, Quick Starts and software as a service, but new growth models, direct-to-consumer and B2B business opportunities, and a means to build solid, scalable applications they can go to market with – in months, not years.
 
With an increasing number of APIs and SDKs available, and the advent of custom tailored pricing and business models – everybody can please consumer, business and enterprise customers with better experiences and outcomes, and everybody can participate economically, generating more revenue, and higher “software” margins.
 
This Empowerment is the Energy Behind not an Evolution but Revolution in the Real Time Communications Industry
 
Democratization  is based on disruption. We’re excited to be working with dozens of companies, from Fortune 500 enterprises, to the largest service providers in the world, and from companies embedded voice, data and video in real time into their own social and other platforms to start-ups with brilliant ideas that are being born on our platform.
 
We are bringing application artists and big businesses tools that are turning their ideas into realities, and accelerating the revolution forward.
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