Management World: The big dumb pipe

Wireless is the fastest-changing industry in the world, says Patrick Parodi, a VP at Lightsquared and head of its innovation sandbox. But it still needs to change more, he told TM Forum’s Management World Americas in a keynote. The wireless industry in the US is not keeping up with demand, and Parodi argued that the US wireless industry is falling short in delivery.  

 Lightsquared,  a provider of 4G/LTE mobile broadband network using satellite, believes it has the answer to this. Unlike other carriers, who are scared of turning into a “dump pipe,” Lightsquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja has recently gone on record as wanting his company to be “the dumbest broadband wireless pipe.”  The Lightsquared business model is to commoditize connectivity and outsource other areas of the traditional service provider business: customer experience, billing and devices.

Today’s carriers have concentrated on consumers and Parodi argued that they would find it hard to enter other sectors and open up their network to third parties, which is where Lightsquared see the future being for the wireless industry.  So far, Lightsquared, whose network covers all of North America,  is offering pure connectivity to be sold throught partners such as Sprint Nextel, Leap Wireless, Best Buy and several other service providers.

We want to be “the dumbest pipe with the smartest partners,” Parodi said. The future will tell if this is going to be the next game-changing business model for the wireless industry.

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