Tag Archives: T-Mobile

Catch the Next Wave in Mobile

The key to the future lies firmly in what you do in the present.  This is the theme of every time bending sci-fi story.  Change what you do now and your future timeline will alter.   This axiom has never been as true in the mobile industry.  With a significant portion of the industry for value added services treading water (or drowning slowly) in this economy, those who position themselves for the recovery wave  will ride to success and be the next hot thing.  If you miss that first wave, you sink.

So, enough for the metaphors , Let’s get to the predictions.

Where should you be positioned for that enviable wave of profitability?

What will be hot? My top three

-Location Bases Services – For real this time!

minority_report2The prediction of profitable LBS services has been around for as long as LBS services.  The reason I am now bullish on LBS is the convergence of social networks, large screen devices and third party LBS providers for applications.    The visions of “Minority Report” like talking billboards or auto-generated coupons as you walk past a Starbucks have been the visions of non-visionaries.

Nice for Sci Fi but not in reality.

The popular navigation applications such as VZW navigator have been the first step in this lucrative market.  The integration of LBS with social networking will be the next.

LBS will be the  bridge that will bring virtual social networking back to the real world.  looptCool apps like a Google map that automatically shows you the location of your Facebook friends, alerts you if a “friend” is at the same bar, game or locale as you.
This is being developed by Loopt – today.

Legitimate dating services such as Match.Com could obviously benefit from such a service.

Will this make the anonymous rogue of virtual space more dangerous or more marginal?

Regardless, this is coming and will be big   Position your application for this and you will catch the wave
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-Mobile Commerce  – The rest of the economy meets wireless

In a previous article I talked about the tipping point of large screen devices and keyboards.  That trend coupled with “open networks” is a perfect storm for true commerce on mobile devices.  The industry will break out of the ringtone and wallpaper commerce “sand box” to address the other 99.9999% of the economy.

We will be evolving from using mobile as an alerting mechanism for transactions such as banking, trading, ebay, sports, etc.  The next step is to use the mobile as the transaction vehicle.

There are already several mobile ticketing trials for airlines and events underway.
Using your mobile as a truecredit-cards mobile wallet is just over the horizon.

The barrier that will have to be removed is the 40-50% share of revenue that carriers take for the existing mobile oriented content.   Credit Card rates for merchants are one tenth of what carriers charge.

The carriers have been providing both a billing service and a “mall owner” function.  Open Networking and free application choice changes this equation.   Either the carriers figure out how to be the clearinghouse for general commerce using their networks, or they will be ultimately bypassed.   The consumer should hope that the carriers continue to play a role and benefit from this increased commerce flow.  Simply , the more revenue the carriers can garner from commerce generation, the less the basic subscription rates have to be.

In either case the revenue flow through mobile will increase geometrically

-Advertising –The arrival of universally acknowledged Mobile ROI
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My view is that mobile advertising has been “Swift boated” by the other advertising media outlets.  This makes sense.  If I made my bonus purely on television, radio, print or web advertising, I would be less than happy for a share of those dollars, Euros or Yen to go to mobile platforms.  The claims that mobile advertising is impossible to measure seems rather suspect to me.  You can measure TV audience but can’t measure someone who clicks on your mobile ad?

With so much more content being produced for the larger screen mobile devices, the preferred monetization mechanism will be advertising first, subscription second.  The value chain for mobile ads, from creative, agency, platform, network, publisher and advertiser will mature and become fully mainstream.

More advertising revenue will benefit the traditional media giants as well as the new wave of mobile publishers such as game provider Cellufun.

Eventually the advertising model can help carriers transition the handset subsidy to the providers of goods and services.

These are my waves for the next couple of years, what do you thing I have missed?

Are you poised to cash in?

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Filed under economy, Google, hockey, location based services, mobile, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, mobile games, social networking, wireless

The Mobile World is Flat

I spent the last week at our corporate headquarters in Italy. It is always interesting to compare and contrast the mobile market environment in markets outside of the U.S.   For many years, the U.S. suffered a deserved mobile service inferiority complex. It had been stated that all the really cool stuff was happening in Europe or Japan. That has changed.
To quote one of my favorite writers, Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, “The world is flat!” Here are a couple of examples:
The vast majority of my colleagues have BlackBerrys. The BlackBerry device itself and the service were created in Canada but were first introduced in a serious manner in the U.S.
While flipping through the multi-national channels on the TV in my hotel room, it was hard the miss the influx of German iPhone commercials for T-Mobile (as well as some other German commercials that I will discuss later!). Many other advertisements for mobile phones are iPhone-esque. They feature large touchscreens and virtual keyboards, they play Mp3s and have Wi-Fi.
With the U.S. market providing innovative, global-leading devices, and with premium VAS skyrocketing, I hereby declare the official end of the U.S. inferiority complex. I am not raising the stars and stripes in a jingoistic manner, but rather to point out some rough parity in creating leading service models.
As Friedman proclaims in his bestseller, the global economy for goods and services is permeating all aspects of our economy, and this includes mobile value-added services. Mobile devices and value-added services can be sourced from any land with data center and Internet connectivity.
There are still obvious differentiations and cultural norms that create service differences across markets and continents. The service and device differences are now dominated by local norms and market conditions, not technology or market maturity.
One very obvious difference is the use of late-night (after midnight), continuous commercials on German stations. As best I could, either there is a severe clothing shortage for well-endowed women, or there is a market for mobile VAS in text sex chat, mobile adult videos and adult wallpapers. Have you picked out the common theme to these services? I cannot imagine a similar all-night commercial on American television.
All in all, the mobile world may be flat, but local market differences certainly make it very diverse!

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Filed under advertising, Apple, blackberry, economy, media, mobile, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, wireless