The resounding theme from all these seemingly disparate announcements is that messaging, voice, video, and chatting applications are on fire. Sure, we all use social media, but it sure hasn’t dampened people’s affinity for texting or making a call.

More revealing, all of this innovation seems to be happening at the application layer, far from the AT&Ts of the world, who are missing another wave of innovation which is happening on top of their networks. It’s very evident that Google and Apple are making overtures to become your de facto voice and messaging provider, and the carriers are sitting with their pants down, struggling to plan how they stay relevant.

This is a great example of why regulatory intervention is important - and why having net neutrality for mobile wireless is so key. AT&T et al’s primary plan to “stay relevant” is to block, throttle, or tax application layer companies who innovate in modern-day versions of legacy voice/text services, so that they can delay the future long enough to come up with their own preferred versions and maintain their legacy revenue streams.