I love that illustration. The canonical business plan! The article is good too. I’ve been stewing some on how the mobile phone is a coordination problem solver; and that their pricing, i.e. per minute pricing, reflects to a large degree how often the usage consists of very short calls; each one of which solves a tiny coordination problem. I.e. where are your, where shall we meet, I’m going to be late, call Harry, etc. etc.
The article points out that some businesses have noticed this and as they look for substitutes for cell phones they quickly found Wifi capable phones. Of course the family radios solve the same problem. You see those wired, Borg like, to the retail store employees of most big box stores now. The term “family” was always a diversion from the real target market for these; though I have seen some kids in malls with them in hand. The boys in the back room saw to it that family radio wasn’t regulated so it may not be used to place phone calls.
Apparently somebody dropped the ball on Wifi. The carriers have had to drop back and try defend the network by pressuring the handset manufactures and declining to certify handsets that puncture their garden walls.
It must frustrate the cellular carriers that they haven’t found pricing plans to reach these applications effectively. Maybe the pressure to introduce them hasn’t arrived yet. But much as family radio wasn’t about families I’ve presumed that mandatory location sensitivity for cell phones isn’t about emergency services; it’s about enabling pricing plans that are extremely location sensitive.
But maybe not as small in radius as a toilet bowl plunger.