Investment money is going away - so what does this mean for wireless networks? The telecoms blog world is starting to consider the answer.
It's obvious that borrowing money won't be so easy for the next little while - and that means telcos will find it harder to finance new network roll-outs. So, instead of WiMax or LTE, the question will be what can we do with existing HSDPA?
"From a risk management point of view, all the signs are pointing more towards HSPA+ / HSPA Evolved as a cheap & safe interim step before LTE," says Dean Bubley. "I don't think the situation is going to do WiMax or FTTH [fibre to the home] many favours in the near term either."
We can probably forget about mobile WiMax in the UK for a while (though point-to-point providers like Urban Wimax could do well with lots of cash-strapped customers wanting an alternative to leased lines). Ofcom quietly postponed the 2.6GHz auction yet again in August, in response to persistent legal fillibustering by the incumbent mobile operators.
So there's no immediate prospect of BT and others getting their hands on spectrum to do a Sprint Xohm over here - if they still want to. As Bubley points out: "Maybe O2 & T-Mobile have, ironically, done both BT & the UK Treasury a favour, delaying the UK 2.6GHz auction through their legal action?" Now is indeed, not a good time to be buying spectrum.
James Enck puts a more positive spin on the possibility of good news for operators. At least the ones with established customer bases have sensible business models and revenues.