Cutting the Telecom Cord

Look at your smartphone. That amazing device that’s always with you. It’s on the table while you eat. It’s on your nightstand while you sleep. It’s what you reach for when awkwardly sharing an elevator with strangers.

You can use it to send email, watch cat videos, take pictures, get directions, and chat with friends. It’s a mobile computer, in your pocket.

But the “phone” part of your smartphone is holding it back. It’s stuck in an old world of wires and switchboards. Despite all appearances, your smartphone is tethered to a legacy phone network that prevents it from reaching its full potential.

Email showed us another way. There was a time when most of us used an email address from our internet service provider. It was convenient and cheap and good-enough, so there was little reason to switch.

But over the years the cracks started to appear. We wanted access to our email away from home. We wanted more storage and less spam. And we grew tired of changing email addresses every time we moved.

So we unbundled our email service from our internet service and never looked back.

We are now in the early days of making the same transition with phone service. The cracks are everywhere. We want to call internationally without paying a small fortune. We want to block unwanted calls. We don’t want a new number every time we switch carriers.

The journey has begun, and the ending is inevitable. There will be a time when we can get our phone numbers from providers that don’t also erect cell towers. And there will be a time when we choose our calling app just like we choose our email app.

Bolt’s mission is to accelerate the transition.