Wally Swain has been working in telecommunications for over 35 years, in Latin American telecom since 1998 and as a consultant and writer since 2001. He is currently the Managing Partner of C3 Communications SAS, a Colombian research and consulting company and is the SVP, Emerging Markets for Yankee Group, a Boston-based consultancy. Previously he was President of Comcel Colombia, President of Bell Canada’s private networks division and served in the office of the president of Bell Canada.
Why Macondo Telecom?
For those not familiar with Latin American literature, Macondo is a mythical town in the tropical north of Colombia where Nobel-laureate Gabriel García Márquez set his major novels and short-stories. García Márquez is the most famous writer of a stream of literature known as “Magic Realism” where the absurd and the fantastic mix with the real and the common place
Exactly like the current state of Latin American Telecom.
We are thrilled to have private companies increasing their investment in new technologies, but we don’t like the prices so we want price regulation — again.
We are thrilled to get service activated rapidly and have repairs within hours or at most days. But we don’t like the profits that private companies make so we yearn (again) for the state-owned companies that made such a mess of things in the last century.
In short we want world class technologies but we neither want to pay for them nor do we want anyone to make money on their investments.
I understand that managing a society is the art of balancing opposing needs and opposing forces. I understand that Alice in Wonderland thought “six impossible things before breakfast”. But it has to be an almost religious belief in the power of Magic to believe that we can overcome the Realism that investors must be paid and state-owned companies become bloated, inefficient bureaucracies.
Hence Macondo Telecom.
The range will be wider than my particular rant above but given how prevalent this them is, we will return to it time and again.
Hope you enjoy the journey.