Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dean Bubley: Managing heterogeneity and multiple service providers

Dean Bubley at Disruptive Wireless has been on a recent blogging roll and he contnues with this post about new business models such as triple/quad-plays, which he says "seem to assume that a whole household will willingly switch to a single service provider." From a network operator perspective, it's clear to see the benefits, but Bubley asks, "is this unreasonable?"

Bubley thinks "in the real world there's a whole host of reasons why operators may have to deal with heterogeneous, multi-provider households" such as:

  • One family member has a company-supplied mobile phone with a different operator
  • Family members unwilling to switch ISP, owing to use of email addresses
  • "Content lock-in" - eg if someone is silly enough to have their music collection tied to a specific operator's services
  • A given market has two "dual-mode" operators, each providing their own home gateway, and two family members independently buy one of each
  • Shared households of students / young professionals
  • Increasing use of long-term contracts over 24 months inhibiting migration
  • Regulatory reasons prohibiting "single phone number" or "fixed+mobile" services
  • People moving home to areas with different DSL / cable availability
Bubley believes for these reasons, it wouldn't surprise him "if this reduces the addressable market for such services to under 30% of what more optimistic planners may expect at first."

I currently have a triple play of sorts (SBC telephone, DSL and Cingular Wireless), but the only benefit I can see is one consolidated e-bill at the end of the month. I could go for the quad play, but they only offer the DISH network and I'm wedded to my DirecTV service...