…From VAS Operator to Mobile Computing Operator

Yesterday, I outlined the first part in a pathway to creating an innovative plan in the mobile data space. Here is the second part.

How do things change in a 3G world? They become even better. SMS can continue to be the trigger for driving people to the mobile Internet. Rich Media, Richer Monetisation.

With this multi-monetisation model, the groundwork is in place for the final horizon. This involves leveraging the richness of 3G with an i-mode-like open content and applications platform, and microbilling to create a data MVNO.

No one has done an MVNO in a data-centric world. No one has created an MVNO where the focus is not on voice tariff arbitrage but what better handsets with more screen real estate and high-speed networks can enable.

I call this entity a mobile computing operator – one which combines the power of mobility and computers with the openness and variety of the Internet. This is the endgame in the world of mobiles – a future that will emerge first in markets like India.

The market opportunity in India alone in two years could be worth $1 billion. The potential opportunity globally could be 5-7 times as much. At $7 billion, this would be equivalent to Paid Search in 2005. From there, replay the Internet revenue story in the mobile world with a five-year time lag.

With every new platform, there is a new global winner. A different paradigm is needed in the mobile space. And there is no better market than India for launching the new paradigm and the next platform.