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August 3, 2015

Dear Lens Subscribers,

Now that AT&T has acquired DirecTV, it is moving quickly. Today, the company announced a national TV and wireless bundle, starting at $200 per month for HD and DVR service for up to 4 TVs in a home,  10 GB of data across four lines, and access to select TV content on mobile devices. The package is more attractive than previous bundled offers that AT&T had offered with DirecTV pre-acquisition, but it is also not particularly aggressive, either.

Here are my views, from a column published in Fierce Wireless last week, of what AT&T will, and should do, now that it has acquired DirecTV. Read the column here....
Also In This Issue
How is T-Mobile Pulling off Canada-Mexico Roaming?
A "Summer Camp" Leter to Industry Players
Is the Telecom Industry Structure Upside Down?
Discount Tix for TC3 Event
Recent Columns

How is T-Mobile Pulling Off the Canada-Mexico Plan?
On July 9, T-Mobile announced that voice and data roaming in Canada and Mexico would be included in all Simple Choice plans. This is groundbreaking.
For the first time, there are no asterisks: no extra monthly charge for an 'international plan'; no charge for calling anyone in North America from anywhere in North America; no charges for texting; no surcharges for data roaming; and no throttling to pokey 2G or 3G service.


Those who have been reading my columns over the years know this has been a pet issue. International roaming remains the last bastion of 1970s era telecom. In 2015, there is no reason anyone should have to pay a significant premium to communicate just because they step over a border. If they are, than one of the following is true: their carrier is making usurious profits on these services; or some carriers are refusing to provide reasonable roaming rates to other carriers.


So, how is T-Mobile pulling this off?  Read the full column here... 


My 'Summer Camp' Letter to Industry Players
In celebration of mid-summer, here are some quick notes to a few of the industry's key players.


Dear Twitter: Why don't you have automatic link shortening built into your app?


Dear Facebook: Why is it so hard to navigate the settings for items such as notifications?


Dear Google: What business segments are you NOT planning to enter?


Dear Apple: As the world's most profitable company, here are three things you can do:

1)   Be more philanthropic

2)   Develop a program for lower income people in emerging markets to afford used iPhones

3)   Don't charge for phone-based customer care


Read the rest...  


Telecom Industry Structure is Upside Down
What's been interesting about the feverish M&A landscape of the past year is that as many big deals have been rejected or abandoned as have been completed. We see an on-fire European operator dipping its toes into the U.S. broadband market, modest consolidation in the cable industry, and our largest wireless operator making a bigger play in OTT content and video/ad serving platforms. As of mid-2015, in my view, we have an upside down industry structure. In wireless, there is almost excess competition, whereas in fixed broadband, there is lack of competition and choice.

So, in sort of a companion piece to the AT&T-DTV column above, what industry structure would make sense in our rapidly evolving content and connectivity universe? Here are some thoughts...

Occasionally, Mobile Ecosystem partners with particular events which we believe to be of value to Lens subscribers. The TC3 Summit, September 30-October 1, in Mountain View, CA, is one such event.

TC3 Summit is the annual gathering of telecom innovation executives from operators, vendors, startups, and VCs who are creating the next generation products and services together. Over 50 telcos take the stage at TC3 to broadcast their annual "calls for innovation" to the vendor and startup communities making this Summit an important annual event for our ecosystem. (Plus, the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley does a great job making sure every attendee gets plenty of relevant, pre-arranged, 1-on-1 meetings).

We have arranged for a $300 discount for Lens subscribers. Click here to register and use the code LENS.   
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And The Next Big Thing Is...