Dumb Pipes Buying Dumb Pipes

Added on by Arturo Gutierrez.

Am I missing something here? As stated by @jmcduling of Quartz the considerable strategic value of Time Warner as an acquisition exists because of the fragmented nature of american cable companies. OK? I don't see it. Really. I have no idea what the value is by that statement. Is it that acquiring TW and it's regional subscribers offers great strategic value, more customers, is that it? Because the last time I checked TW was losing subscribers, along with other telcos and cable companies. So I'm still asking, how is the acquisition of a company that is losing subscribers in a fragmented and weakened industry a strategic advantage? 

digital-vs-cable.jpg

If we consider the dependency content providers, ISPs, everyone else in the world has on network providers (Telefonica, Cox, etc) there is clearly a place for them to add value. That value however is currently limited to providing reliable QoS (quality of service), because aside from giving OTT providers (Twitter WhatsApp, etc) reliable pipes, I'm having a difficult time imagining the type of innovation they need to grow once more in a competitive manner. TimeWarner the content provider? No. Cox Communications the smartphone supplier...not seeing it either. 

While it sounds limiting, the position telcos and pipe friends are in can at least help them focus there efforts in the network. There is nothing wrong with being a smart pipe that delivers quality content to millions of mobile and desktop users worldwide. In fact, it's to be admired given the many very regular disruptions online users face. What is certain is that online usage and content consumption continues to grow, the network is needed to support that growth, and if I was Cox or Comcast, I'd start focusing on building next gen infrastructure to support large complex data delivery. It's the only way I can imagine OTTs even considering to pay for delivery of high quality user experiences through borrowed networks. 

 

- arturo gutierrez