Editor's Corner

I'm reporting today live from Supercomm in Chicago. This year's show is all about three themes: the emerging quadruple play (broadband, VoIP, digital TV, and cellular phone service in one service bundle), the coming impact of IPTV, and converged wireless.

The biggest of these three themes is the quadruple play, which in essence captures the other two issues. The quadruple play will revolutionize the telecom market, making cable companies and traditional telecoms the same. Thanks to VoIP and MVNO wireless partnerships, cable companies will turn into landline and wireless voice carriers while IPTV promises to convert incumbent telecoms into digital cable providers. The only real difference will be in the service providers respective core networks, but to consumers there will be no difference.

What will be the key differentiator for the quadruple play? I predict wireless service will be the deal maker for most. Consumers increasingly rely on their cell phones as their primary means of communication. The carrier or service provider which can give consumers reliable wireless service and afforable access to other services like cable TV will win. - Stephen