The FCC's vote on net neutrality Thursday sparked an outpouring of response, including some praise for realizing that wireless was different from wireline services from CTIA-The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent, along with a warning that "applying these rules to mobile wireless broadband services during a period of dynamic innovation and change in the wireless ecosystem could have significant unintended consequences."
The enterprise mobility market will generate revenue of more than $90 billion by 2014 and account for 11.7% of carriers' customers, according to an Informa study, in which the market researcher suggests ways telecoms can improve their positioning. "It is the systems integrator and IT specialist that remain the key players in the mobile enterprise sector. The telecoms operator is seen more as a communications pipe than as a solutions facilitator," Informa's report says.
The iPhone accounted for only one-third of AT&T's wireless gains in the quarter, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told reporters Thursday as a way of asserting that the carrier will more than survive if its exclusive iPhone contract with Apple comes to an end. De la Vega also said the carrier was putting the final touches on a plan that might put extra charges on heavy bandwidth users, adding AT&T's decision could depend on the outcome of the FCC's proposals on net neutrality.
The iPhone continued to perform exceptionally well for AT&T in the third quarter as the company added 2 million wireless customers to end the quarter with a customer base of 81.6 million. IPhone activations came in at 3.2 million as the telecom benefited from price cuts and the new 3GS model. Wireless revenue grew 8.2% from the previous year as the average contract subscriber paid 3.8% more each month, or $61.23.
Wireless telecoms will need to cater to the rising expectations of their customers by adopting a two-pronged approach in their network strategies, John Stankey, AT&T's president and CEO of operations, said Thursday. In an industry event, Stankey said:
"I don't think a single macro wireless network is sustainable over time, given the pace of spectrum availability and what's actually out there in terms of fixed spectrum."