One area that I strongly believe will see greater capex in 2008-2009 is Enterprise Access. (see “Enterprise Access Capex – A Ray of Hope?“)
Cable modems forced the Telcos to dig DSL technology from the closet they were hiding it in order to remain competitive. The same forces are aligning today in enterprise access – but this time it’s dark fiber, PON, and even short range wireless that are the threats. What technology represents Telcos only hope of retaining business customers?
Viewed in the context of last week’s CES, the iPhone’s greatest impact should be felt by incumbents. Why? The iPhone has enlightened consumers to the fact that existing mobile phone interfaces suck. But people are mistaken if they think a $599 iPhone is going to sell 10M units in 2008. It will take a $299 iPhone 2.0 to make this happen.
The big deal isn’t the iPhone itself, which is what the mainstream investment, gadget and tech media is focusing on. It’s the way that it will fundamentally challenge how carriers have coupled services with connectivity with a hardware distribution monopoly.
Two things happened today. Ciena (CIEN) inked their contract with British Telecom for the BT’s 21CN project. And Marconi shareholders approved the sale of the company to Ericsson. Many readers know these two minor events have a bellwether common denominator – a willingness to meet the new price targets set by Chinese competition.
Just as Vietnam and Afghanistan were proxy wars for the 20th century superpowers, BT’s 21CN will be the first full-blown encounter between incumbent and Chinese research, customer service, accounting practices, and cost structures.