Podcast: Tacos, Telcos & Trouble

Phil Harvey
2/7/2019
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Sometimes a taco is more than just a taco.

In the case of T-Mobile, a free taco offer (that we're all too keen to make fun of) is serious business. The company has built an affinity brand by being something other than what you'd normally expect from a phone company. Its latest giveaway with Taco Bell is part of a series of discounts, giveaways and special offers that T-Mobile customers enjoy just for being customers.

In this week's podcast, Light Reading's Phil Harvey and Ray Le Maistre chew on the latest offers from T-Mobile, Verizon and Orange while discussing the broader theme of how traditional carriers can be -- and be perceived -- as something more than connectivity providers. When should a telco become a media company? Or a lifestyle brand? Or a bank? The answer depends on the company, but each company, as it changes and modernizes to keep up with competitors, should always be looking for places that it can disrupt others.

Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre asks: "If you're doing it -- if you're going through the process of digital transformation -- what opportunities does that open up to you, where you could actually be the company nipping in and being the digital challenger to legacy slow moving established companies?"

Later in the show, we ponder the unintended consequences of Huawei's troubles in the US. Could we someday miss out on innovation in the US and Europe because we were all too quick to demonize a world-beating Chinese rival in the telecom space? If you work in the telecom industry, you will have an opinion on this.

Related posts:

Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

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