One of these slow alpha-waves of change in the telecosm is the upcoming decline and death of the GSM ecosystem. As the biggest and baddest technology ecosystem in the world, this is very significant. Let me point out how it might gradually corrode and collapse – albeit over a long period – and what might grow in its place.
We come to celebrate GSM
GSM is arguably the single most impactful technology on everyday human existence since the wheel. (OK, since the axle and second wheel – the first wheel was a confusing novelty.) Superlatives like “astonishing” are appropriate. In a mere two decades GSM has created a connected planetary populace. The spread and impact of even the printing press cannot compare. The core offer is a perfect packaging of human voice and simple text into GSM’s mobile telephony and SMS standards. A $20 GSM phone with a $3 service plan is near-miraculous source of value. The world’s richest man is an emerging-market GSM entrepreneur, not a software mogul or energy tsar. This is a technology that has outpaced even the spread of clean water and mains electricity.
This achievement cannot be understated, and should not be diminished. Too many Web-heads dismiss the benefits that GSM has brought. It wasn’t the Internet that connected billions, it was GSM.
Thanks to Brian S. Hall for the pointer.
Well worth Reading.