D.C. based blogger, Cynthia Brumfield has a very concise post yesterday on why cable needs to have a mobile play in order to compete with the long established telcos.
She's right. Here's why from my point of view.
First the idea of ONE source provider is being proven to be very much the way the mass market wants to go. Look at the uptake for VOIP by cable customers who want one bill for video, data and phone. Now look at how Verizon is retaliating against CableVision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable with a very well thought out deployment of FIOS which for now offers higher speeds than cable, but has a series of limitations (i.e. DNS, the Search Gateway, a fixed use of Port 25 to send email using the FIOS SMTP server which begs the question, is Skype and third party SIP providers next to be snipped?)
Next look at the business opportunity with the enterprise market. Imagine the MSO (multiple system operators) offering fat fiber to business which they can deliver, plus mobile services as a single offering. Talk about leveling the playing field in a defined market area. The MSO's can go literally door to door and deploy by block or zipcode.
Lastly, the MSO's have direct marketing in a community that is far better than the Telcos can access. With FIOS and UVerse just getting started versus all the marketing tools available to the MSO's, the ability to sell mobile and data through to the market is much easier for the MSO's than the tired old telco.