Business Week: Telcos Can't Innovate

by Bruce Stewart

Business Week is running an interesting piece this week titled The Phone Companies Still Don't Get It which takes the telcos to task for their inability to innovate while supposedly being technology companies. The reporter was unimpressed with a demo of the AT&T Lightspeed/U-verse IPTV trial in San Antonio, and notes that the telcos are playing catch-up with their rival cablecos for the prized killer triple-play offering (voice, data, and TV), have largely abandoned their own research divisions, and regularly attempt to thwart new technologies like they have done with Muni WiFI.

Welcome to Telco Land, a strange country where the biggest players talk more and more about innovation yet approach new ideas with baby steps, build little themselves, and when they think about technology are apt to believe it's a threat they have to fight.