Michael Gurstein on Wed, 29 Aug 2001 08:45:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 'Parasitic (synergistic) grid' wireless movement may threaten telecom profits

This below is potentially a very important development for a number of
reasons, not least that most major Telecom companies and particularly the
European telcos have gone seriously into hock (debt) to purchase the
frequencies for 3G wireless services. These telcos have entered into
multi-billion dollar/deutchemark/franc/guilder etc.etc. contracts with state
telecom regulatory authories based on projected sales/valuations.

It was reported elsewhere (the WSJ) recently that the respective governments
have been relaxing the conditions of payment for these contracts (try that
one with your local tax authority) presumably so as not to precipitate Telco
bankruptcies and the chain of related bankruptcies and disruptions which
would ensue up (towards their lending bankers) and down (to their suppliers
and end user customers) the "value chain".

According to the report on the relaxation of payment terms, this was based
on the evident delays in the development of applications/markets for 3G
wireless... One wonders how what follows below plays in this context (i.e.
impacts the underlying business model of the Telcos as being monopoly
providers of the 3G wireless frequencies) and what the effect might be if
the market were not simply delayed but rather to be "subverted/diverted" in
the longer term.


Mike Gurstein


'Parasitic grid' wireless movement may threaten telecom profits

By Ephraim Schwartz
August 24, 2001 4:34 pm PT

AN UNDERGROUND MOVEMENT to deploy free wireless access zones in metropolitan
areas is taking hold. If it turns out to be successful, wireless network
operators may be fighting against a grounds-up movement that could undermine
their multibillion-dollar campaign to offer next-generation 3G
(third-generation) wireless services in major metro areas.

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