In a surprise move, RCR Wireless announced today it is shutting down after 25 years of covering the wireless segment. I've read the trade mag on and off over the last 15 years and in many ways am not surprised.
First, it reflects the expanding destructive effects of news gathering via the web as opposed to newsprint. But it can't be ignored that it also reflects the problems in the wireless business as well. RCR focused mostly on the US market, and had an emphasis on the old "wireless business" tracking mostly the public traded entities--none of which are doing very well--and missing the development of developers' influence and the growing fragmentation of the industry. It's style reflected that of a mid tier US city local business rag, think Kiwanis, local bankers and lawyers, instead of a global industry media outlet covering the constantly ebbing and flowing--mostly due to the tastes and choices of trend following 15 to 35 year olds--of a global pool of users. As a result it skewed its coverage to infrastructure and has struggled in breaking news regarding the shift towards apps and content framing the ecosystem, a the expansion of adjacent opportunities migrating to mobile, advertising, location, payments, video, plus the plethora of start ups in the mobile segment--all magnified on a global level You could easily see coverage of repeaters, tower exes, and handset wars, but how often was there something on say, SpinVox or Mobile Dreams?
No doubt there will be those newly arrived upstarts who felt it was just a mouth for "the carriers" or the US' CTIA, instead of kowtowing to the the newly arrived religions of the iPhone and Andoid. But, service usage absent revenues isn't a business model, apps are not a business--unless you own "the store", and dial tone reliability isn't going to be provided by some High School Harry developer in a garage. The reality is that the industry needs balanced coverage between the two. The best I've seen to date is Charged and Mobile Communications International. Two slick publications which reflect the old guard and the new, US and Rest of World, in a balanced manner. Check them out and develop fresh reading habits.