This Podcast Saved Me Two Thousand Bucks

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Ok, so it’s not like I’d ever pony up the $2,250 CAD registration fee for the Canadian Telecom Summit anyway. But now, thanks to a new podcast, I don’t have to.

Forums member Ben Klass nailed what CTS really is on his own blog two years ago: “middle aged executives wearing expensive suits, patting themselves on the back for their tireless service to the Canadian public.” Sounds about right… Fortunately for us non-insiders, there’s a better way to keep up with the telecom industry’s latest developments, for free!

It’s called the 361 Degrees Podcast, and it’s pretty great.

If you were ever a Nokia fan then the pedigree of this show will be immediately apparent. You’ll remember Rafe Blandford from All About Symbian, and Ewan Macleod and Ben Smith from SMS Text News, which begat the original Mobile Industry News Show. The three of them are still very active in the wireless racket, and clearly committed to this podcast as well—361 Degrees is now in the midst of its seventh season.

The show apparently has a new format, with a guest interview off the top and a round table discussion immediately afterwards. Works for me. Here’s a quick preview:

S07E01 – The future of mobile networks

Dan Lane, another Mobile Industry Review alum, makes a compelling case for a wireless network that isn’t a dumb pipe. But don’t expect much innovation from your big operator anytime soon.

S07E02 – Cord cutting and media unbundling

As Netflix and other video streaming services become more popular, how are they affecting congestion, pricing and other aspects of wireless networks?

S07E03 – What does it take to build a ‘big’ app?

Guest Ed Hodges discusses the challenges of going mobile with big brands.

Episodes clock in at just over 30 minutes each. I was only going to check out the first one yesterday but ended up listening to all three. The podcast is maybe a bit UK-centric but the topics covered are relevant to mobile users everywhere. And those actually working in the industry will surely get something out of it as well.

I’m keeping an eye out for anything interesting coming out of this year’s CTS, but so far nothing has even come close to the education I got in 90 minutes from the 361 Degrees Podcast. You can subscribe to it right here, and I highly recommend that you do!