Whitacre said Tuesday (June 22)that service providers still must segment to serving vertical niches in order to insure profitability as data transport becomes a commodity business.
SBC may appear to be an all-purpose octopus, Whitacre said, challenging cable TV with its satellite TV service and "creative consolidation of wireless assets with BellSouth to form Cingular, and now the further addition of AT&T Wireless assets." Eventually, however, SBC will look far different from an expanded incumbent local carrier, Whitacre said.
"We are not just trying to become a bigger version of our old self," he said. "There's a limit to being just a phone company."
Similarly, he said, a cable TV operator, a satellite TV company or a wireless carrier must look at converged communications that can redefine them.