The Era of International Simple Resale: Not Waving, But Drowning?

International direct dial (IDD) is finished as the cash cow of the industry. The cushion of comfort offered by the growth of cellphone revenues is rapidly losing its air. A telecommunication licence, like a television licence before it, is no longer a licence to print money. Basic carrier services, such as voice or Internet email connections, have become commoditized and increasingly will be offered free-of-charge, or at marginal cost which is effectively the same thing. Thus, the economics of the entire industry has changed inexorably. While all this is, or should be, increasingly well understood within the industry, its major implications remain uncertain, and it is instructive to examine actual instances of the change to see how it works and what comes next. This paper, which illustrates and models the case of Hong Kong, is a contribution to that task.




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