Mobile Data: For Carriers, It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts.

MIT TechReview on CDR mining

I’ve often argued that the data inside the carriers’ networks could become as valuable as the data they carry over their networks.  To date, carriers have been less aggressive/creative about analyzing and making this data available, mostly, and appropriately, due to privacy concerns.   Meanwhile, 3rd parties like Sense Networks, and to a certain extent startups like foursquare, twitter, whrrl, brightkite, loopt, geodelic and geoapi, etc., find ways to go over the top to collect and profit from this data.

I expect to see more movement on the part of carriers to open up their data stores in secure fashions that ensure privacy (Vodaphone and VZW providing developer access to “network enablers” is a start).  Whether it’s advertising, traffic planning, social networking or any application that benefits from real-time and non real-time aggregated location information, the opportunity for carriers to be the authoritative, low-cost, secure and trusted provider of such information is too great.


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