Is McDonald’s the Telco of the future?

A thought occurred to me this morning as I smugly used the newly installed Skype on my iPhone to join a conference call in the US. The thought … who in their right mind would buy shares in Telstra or any Telco for that matter? Here I am making a call that  would normally cost $50+ for just under $4.00. It would have been completely free if the other party had been on Skype too. My mind naturally wandered to the implications of this for the big Telcos and McDonald’s as well.


For the Telcos it must be like watching the Wright Bros at the turn of last century. The contraption was clearly innovative but was it really a threat to all that infrastructure invested in the railways? The railways owners thought not. The ordinary people on the other hand were inspired. They saw the vision and the future. Had it not in part, been for the raw enthusiasm of kids, adventurers, mums and dads and brave inventive minds, air travel as we know it, may never have got of the ground (pun intended).


I believe there is a very similar dynamic going on today around Skype and the other peer to peer products. The infrastructure owners (Telcos) see it but don’t want to acknowledge a life without zillions of miles of copper and all those expensive bits at each end. We, the masses on the other hand, look at Skype and free WiFi at retailers like Maccas and our hearts start soaring just like my granddad’s did last century. Where will this take us, where will this end? Will we one day, be able to buy a coffee and a handset and never have to even consider the concept of signing a life threatening contract with a Telecommunications provider. Lovely thought isn’t it?


What do you think?


In the interests of transparency, I confess that McDonald’s is a client but I have no commercial interest in pushing their Free WiFi.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi Doug

    Interesting post — largest provider of free internet in the country, that’s a great value add. I agree that this trend towards zero means businesses need to identify what relevant “Freesumerism” model will work for them. The internet has so quickly advanced this notion, now we need to re-focus on consumer experiences. Love the innovative thinking it inspires across, necessitates creativity in my opinion.

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