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Week 7 Reading Reflections – Breaking the Wire November 18, 2007

Posted by gjchatalas in Uncategorized.

Christensen et al attempt to gaze into the future of the telco industry, using the methods put forth in earlier chapters. Taking a look at the various players and technologies is quite interesting. And I don’t doubt for a moment that suppression will rear its head as the companies scramble to maintain market share and delay disruptive innovation. I also don’t doubt that the telcos will remain strong in the face of competition and new technology.

Generally, it would seem that due to the recent patterns of innovation, the best opportunities for growth would be in services offered via IP. Yes, VOIP might not be the best quality at present, but it will be fine-tuned and improve. In the reading, I was struck by the cable companies’ initial decision to go for the primary telephone line market; this only would set up a battle with the established telcos, and would bring challenges in defining differentiation. Of course, the cable companies figured this out pretty quickly, and moved to the IP technology.

When I read about non-users, I sometimes wonder why consumers delay the inevitable. But here I am, a classic member of that category when it comes to the smart phone. I’m well aware of the myriad features that would benefit me, but it just hasn’t been a priority for me. I’m fine with my cell phone and computer… maybe the smart phone overshoots me for now. Either way, I watched fascinatingly today as friends accessed every football box score, checking on player statistics. It seemed a little cumbersome, but the convenience is what will win the day. (As an aside, in an unscientific poll, of the 14 men at this baby shower, every one had at least one fantasy football team.)


  • What benefits do cable companies derive by being in the telephony business?
  • What has transpired in the wireless industry since the book was written?
  • Which of the technologies discussed in the chapter do you see as having the most growth potential and prospects for longevity?
  • What technological innovations do we foresee coming on the scene over the next few years?


1. kegill - November 19, 2007

hi, Jody – that’s an interesting data point for your present/future paper! If you think it would make your paper/arguments more persuasive, consider interviewing one of them.

2. gjchatalas - November 19, 2007

That’s essentially what I was doing… creating a conversation and minor survey of fantasy involvement, and why. It certainly wasn’t formal, but I can get some more information quite easily.

In terms of interviews, I conducted a lengthy interview with Bruce Taylor, publisher of the first fantasy football magazine. And I’ve spoken to a devoted fantasy player, Jeff Bogdanovich, whose football league is in its 30th year. These conversations have given me insight on why they were attracted to fantasy sports, what they’ve experienced, and why they are still so involved.

– Jody

3. amybea - November 27, 2007

Jody, I appreciate your reflection on Week 7s reading. You mentioned “I also don’t doubt that the telcos will remain strong in the face of competition and new technology.” I agree with you on this. It seems that telcos have done a good job maintaining a market share by seeing the future, and investing in the future. For example, look at Verizon. Though they initially offered standard home telephone lines, they quickly offered DSL services, and then wireless voice and data services. They also offer data-only lines into a house. AT&T did the same thing, and both companies seem successful. One of the points the reading made was how the teclos and cable companies were going to compete.

You also mentioned VOIP and the current quality as being poor. In researching my ‘history’ paper, a ran across several articles from the 1990s talking about the great quality of compression for 28k modems. It seems ironic that quality is still an issue in this day and age. Working in the codec industry, I find that despite progress, because people want to use less and less bandwidth (bandwidth = cost), that the benefits in codec technology are used to save companies money rather than benefiting consumers by producing better quality.

Very Nice!


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