Wireless rules the waves
Morris Kaplan, one-time stockbroker and venture capitalist, brings his finance skills and recent experience as a business journalist and writer to IT, with a special interest in telecoms and how communications is being transformed by technology.
Despite rumours to the contrary, the US telecoms industry is booming. More consumers and businesses are snapping up smart phones, tablet computers and literally billions of wireless applications.
Look no further than the amazing (almost Lazarus-like) rise and rise of Apple's market capitalisation which for a brief moment recently exceed the world’s largest company by capitalisation. Apple is no telecom company but it is a massive product sales organisation relying heavily on the convergence of telecommunications and mobility.
The gloom and doom on stock markets belies the underlying optimism in key industries and these industries are here today and bigger tomorrow. Underlying also is a missive increase in productivity in the US industries related to telecoms. Leaps forward in Smartphone and network technology have not generally required increases in the call centre workers and salespeople that make up much of the wireless-telecom workforce. Meanwhile Telstra benefiting from a big leakage of customers from
Vodafone and substantially increasing its new accounts in mobile is investing big in expansion. This is hardly surprising given that search giant Google has said it is generating $US1 billion a year in mobile-related revenue and will hire 60,000 people this year including many to work on mobile products.
Last week's "Why bother with optimism when fear and gloom sell so much better?" shouted from all media all the time was Standard and Poor's downgrading of the United States Government's credit rating from AAA to AA+. Far from the end being near, the real truth is that we are at the beginning of a global technology - fuelled boom the likes of which has never been seen before.
Even at this low moment in US national spirit and pride, still the enterprising and entrepreneurial and innovation juggernaut that is the American workforce is beyond impressive. Consumer behaviour around the planet has been altered by the likes of Steven Jobs at Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft not to mention the tens of thousands of back room tech heads churning out smarty[hone applications and making life more entertaining and productive for the other 2-3 billion consumers of Smartphone’s, tablet computers and iPads.
A publishing industry which made books relatively unaffordable for 90 percent of the population of the world is rapidly crossing the digital divide to now make books affordable and accessible in an instant. More people online means expanding opportunities; irrespective of what the gyrations of stock markets might be interpreted by media as meaning.