From SMS Subscriptions to VAS Operator…

I gave a talk recently in which I outlined a pathway to creating an innovative plan in the mobile data space. Part 1 is here. Part 2 will come tomorrow.

Seven years ago, if someone would have said that the Internet Search box could create a company with $20+ billion in revenue and $130 billion in market cap, it would have been thought well nigh impossible.

SMS subscriptions stand at the same stage today.

The free SMS subscriptions are the foundation to building massive, direct-to-consumer reach. People love receiving SMSes if they have opted in for them. This creates the right-of-way, which can be monetised in multiple ways: from ads to leads, from email2sms to invertising, from transactions to paid channels.

Creating a prepaid model with consumers such that cash collection is independent of the mobile operator is the next step. This creates an equivalent to today’s mobile operator – except that the focus is not on Voice, but on VAS.

The final step in this phase is to build a feet-on-street sales force, which can create neighbourhood and niche communities, enable local advertising and drive location-based services and commerce.