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Despite Challenges, We Thrive: Be Thankful

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By David Byrd

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and to note the blessings in our lives. I have been associated with the telecom industry and IP communications for more than 30 years and have seen many changes. As an industry we have been through recessions, the Internet bubble burst, deregulation and myriad other challenges. Yet, we thrive. Telecommunications has evolved from the delivery of voice to include all media and data types using wireline and wireless technologies. This blog can be accessed and read from any number of devices or from just about anywhere on the planet. For that we should all be thankful.

US Telecom spending is $1.1 trillion dollars. The industry accounts for 13.7 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and 865,000 jobs. And although the number of wireline connections is dropping every year and growth in wireless is slowing, the growth of wireless services and wireless broadband continues to grow at an astounding 17 percent year over year. The number of devices connected to the U.S. wireless infrastructure is also increasing dramatically led by the growth of smartphones. Smartphones accounted for 80 percent of wireless devices sold last quarter with the U.S. selling 40 percent of the world’s smartphones every quarter. Worldwide smartphones sales were 472 million units.

The telecom and IP communications industries are poised to take advantage of the innovation and new technologies associated with cloud computing, unified communications and consumer oriented entertainment (movies, gaming, social media, etc.). The new definition of broadband 4M down and 1M up is driven by the demand for greater bandwidth with the number of high speed Internet lines in the U.S. 258 million lines (including mobility).

Finally, while we may not agree with everything the FCC did over the last 12-18 months, its decisions have removed much of the uncertainty that held back industry investment in infrastructure and growth for several years. As a result, we are now able to develop strategies and tactics to position our businesses to better serve our existing customers and expand our markets.

Thursday is a day for all of us in this industry to be very thankful.

(Statistics were gathered from the World Bank, Plunkett Research, Chetan Sharma and the FCC.)

David Byrd is chief marketing officer and executive vice president of channel sales for ANPI ZONE. He previously spent five years as vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox and before that was vice president of channels and alliances for Eftia and Telcordia.

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