Rise of the SoftCom

Bundeep Singh Rangar of Ariadne Capital writes:

The telecom company of the 21st Century is a software company. It is hereby dubbed the Softcom. Gone are expensive installations and maintenance of PSTN networks. Softcoms hallmark is its use of software, soft-switches and the Internet Protocol to route data across millions of Internet routers across the world. Voice is just one of many data applications across its myriad of IP connections. Broadband connections to the home and office have opened up what was the privilege of those who owned the last mile. Customer service is courtesy of your best friend.

What does this mean for the telecom company as we know it? What does it mean to own legacy infrastructure? Does it fight the Softcom, partner with it, or indeed, become it? Will its deep technology, customer base and telecom operations experience ultimately make it a winner?

What does this mean for the mobile network operators? Will the Softcom challenge its ubiquity? And drive prices down to nothing. Will the fixed line telecom and the Softcom become best friends and take on the MNOs?

Is the triple play of voice, data and video is just the beginning of things to come? If thats the case, why wont that get ultimately commoditised making the Softcoms and telecoms companies just like other utility companies. Telecoms could look more like cable companies with data pipes being their business.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.