....and somehow I don't think this Australian soccer team will emulate the performance of the last one......a four goal deficit will be a major problem to overcome with Ghana's win today and the confidence they will take in to the match with Australia in a couple of days time. So a bit bleary eyed this morning and a couple of hours post match sleep has, if anything, made it worse.
While waiting for the match to start (not having much interest in the previous games) I read the overseas communications media more thoroughly than usual and predominantly the rapid deployment of LTE across several EU countries (despite their budgetary problems). I would have no idea how the progress to faster wireless speeds is affecting the usage demographics but the impression I get is that wireless has now overtaken ADSL in more than a few countries in terms of subscribers and is beginning to erode the ADSL user base in the UK and France at a faster rate than was expected.
It's hard to 'read' what's happening in the Australian marketplaces which lag behind both the EU and the USA and it seems to me, at least at the moment, that we are moving in the opposite direction to both of those more advanced markets. The PennyTel offer I cited the other day and the ongoing Virgin offers are directly different to the Verizon and O2 elimination of their unlimited plans and their public statements that 95% of their wireless data users use less than 2 gbytes per month.....an indication that the majority of users are using mobile handsets rather than using wireless as an ADSL replacement - though the impression given by some of the reports is that is not the case. It appears it is the case in Australia as both the last ABS report and this new OECD report illustrate:
If it's correct that Australia is 'trailing' the US and EU markets by 18 months then we can expect to see more of the discounting of data via 'special offers' for the remainder of calendar 2010 and into 2011 and therefore a faster decline in ADSL usage as customers see that they can get wireless broadband for much lower costs. I find it a little bewildering that both Vodafone and Optus make such a song and dance about how wholesale data rates of close to $20.00 per gbyte are the very best they can do without "going broke" and then you glance at your competitor's web sites and see that clearly other customers get rates that are less than half, in the recent case 25%, of what Exetel pays. When queried on how such pricing is possible the answers are always obfuscatory but I always assume there is some methodology that I simply don't understand.
I will be interested to see whether the wireless broadband coverage in the UK has improved in both speed and coverage as well as getting a much better idea of the 'street pricing' that now exists compared to almost twelve months ago. I took all of the growth of wireless broadband out of next year's financial plan based on the recent movements in the Australian wireless broadband pricing from both the carriers and some of their resellers. When a company the size of Pennytel can strike deals that allow the pricing currently being offered it is pointless planning to put any real efforts in to developing a more competitive wireless broadband presence. How we retain our current customers is likely to take all the efforts we can afford in this key marketplace.
Maybe we will come up with a brilliant idea on how to deal with the current situations but right now I think Exetel's chances of making any further progress in the wireless broadband market resemble the Socceroo's chances of progressing - with two matches to go, a four goal deficit and our best striker red carded and out of those games.
To turn dreams to reality takes more than calling the opportunities correctly.
In the case of wireless broadband rates, are you assuming that if a competitor sells for 25% your retail rate, that their buy price is 25% your buy price? Or that their margin is the same (or close to) your margin?
Although you are likely correct that there is some discrepancy between wholesale rates to different retailers, it could also be (partially) that the retailers you are comparing to are choosing to making a loss - for whatever reason, sustainable or not.
I remember an interview with one of the staff at Internode a few months ago, citing a price of ~$3400 / megabit for backhaul from the Optus 3G network.
If that statement was as plain as was written and Internode was simply buying connectivity on a per megabit basis, perhaps this provider is doing the same thing and relying on higher contention ratios and customer complacency to make the offering sustainable.
All that said, I've never had the misfortune of buying 3G services of any type directly from Optus so don't have a point of reference. The Optus services I have used are much less performant than the Exetel service I consume about 1GB / month on though.