Mobile Video

Michael Mace writes: “I think there’s a role for mobile video, but considering the limits on user interest, and the huge technical and business challenges, it’s not going to be the great horizontal application that drives the mobile data market. At best, it’ll be a nice add-on for entertainment-focused users who want video in addition to their MP3s and games.”

Nokia’s Re-org

Nokiia writes about its re-organisation, which heralds a shift from a pure devices services to a blended devices-software-services strategy:

“The convergence of the mobile communications and internet industries is opening up new growth opportunities for us, both in the devices business as well as in consumer internet services and enterprise solutions. Growing consumer demand for rich, mobile experiences creates an opportunity for change. Nokia will bring these capabilities to the broadest range of devices and price points. This unleashes the power of Nokia’s device volumes, now coupled with new services and business solutions. This distinctive approach sets Nokia apart from point solutions vendors,” said Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. “We believe this new organization can capitalize on these opportunities while allowing us to increase the effectiveness of our investments and the efficiency of our operations.”

Under the new organization, Nokia’s current business group and horizontal group structure in the device business will be replaced by three main units: Devices, responsible for creating the best device portfolio for the marketplace; Services & Software, reflecting Nokia’s strategic emphasis on growing its offering of consumer internet services and enterprise solutions and software; and Markets, responsible for management of Nokia’s supply chains, sales channels and marketing activities.

Talk at IAMAI

IndianTelevision.com writes about a talk I gave at an IAMAI symposium on “Enterprise Mobility.” My talk was on Invertising.

Jain implored upon all corporates to create a friendly relationship with the customers through the mobile network. He talked about how “sounds of silence can be converted into sounds of money”.

He said, “Small ads, news and movie theatre updates, shopping discounts and serial timings should be provided by the mobile operators. Mobile-centric advertising has the potential to grow annually to Rs 20 billion. The pull mails should be converted to push mails and spam into subscription.”

He further explained that there can be growth in mobile advertising when customers pay for each detail they receive in their mobiles. Corporates can also double their income via network marketing and advertising.

Telecom: Back from the Dead

Business Week writes: “All those YouTube videos and MySpace pages zipping back and forth on the Net have revived the telecom industryand charged up the economy.”

Investors saw some $2 trillion of market value vanish in a little more than two years–twice the damage caused by the parallel bursting of the Internet bubble. Amid the wreckage, some predicted it could take a decade or more before the industry would climb back and fill all those empty pipes that starry-eyed executives had buried beneath the earth and oceans.

Over the past year, however, the telecom industry has roared back to life. Credit a steady rise in appetite for broadband Internet connections, which enable easy consumption of watch-my-cat video clips, iPod music files, and such Web-inspired services as free Internet phoning. Indeed, this year broadband adoption among U.S. adults is expected to cross the important threshold of 50%. Capital spending is on the rise as companies invest to build high-speed networks.

First Square Mile

[via Anish Sankhalia] Bob Frankston writes: “Telecom is about services delivered over the last mile. Our connected neighborhood gives us the opportunity to discover the unanticipated. Instead of waiting at the end of the last mile we should look within our first square mile and see the possibilities, not just the choices offered.”

ESPN and Mobiles

The New York Times writes:

After some hits and misses in creating content for cellphones, ESPN thinks it knows how to keep up with its fans as they go about their days. Cellphones and other mobile devices, says ESPN, are natural platforms for its content. Consumers waiting in line, riding a bus or sitting in a cafeteria will use their phones to watch sports commentary or to check scores just as often as they glance at their wristwatches or so the thinking goes. In ESPNs view, it is only a matter of time, and mobile technology upgrades, until phone watching is as common as phone calling.

People talk about it being the third screen, says John Zehr, senior vice president for digital video and mobile products at ESPN. I talk about it being the first screen because its the closest to you.

Mobile Phone Features Battle

WSJ writes:

Wireless phone carriers and the makers of hand-held gadgets like the BlackBerry have long had a symbiotic relationship. Carriers sell the BlackBerry to subscribers, putting it in the hands of millions. In turn, the carriers get to charge their subscribers not just for voice but for pricier data service as well.

Now, a turf war is looming between the two camps, as lucrative new services such as video, games, and maps move onto mobile devices. Each camp wants to control the new offerings, and the gusher of revenue they could produce.

At stake for consumers are what services will be available on their mobile phones and whether they’re free or cost a monthly fee. The wireless Web is taking off more slowly in America than overseas, and one reason is that U.S. carriers tightly control what applications are available on mobile devices. That’s a contrast with Europe and parts of Asia, where carriers’ control is less tight and where wireless services have been more broadly available for years.

iPhone and Mobile Business

Om Malik writes about the changes the phone from Apple will usher in:

Break the Wireless Walled Gardens: iPhone is fully functional iPod, with full tracks of music. Do you need to download ring tones for $2.99 a pop, when you get a full song for a third of that price? Ditto for Wallpapers, and themes, and everything else that is being sold on the carrier deck.

Shift of control to the customers: If the embedded (Safari) browser if it performs the way as hyped by Jobs & Co., will give us the choice-control we have on the web. Search engines to web sites nothing will be determined by the wireless carriers who have thus far done nothing but create barriers between what we want, and giving us what they want to sell.

Mobile vs Fixed Internet

Victor Keegan writes in The Guardian:

Tomi Ahonen, a strategy consultant, points out that whereas porn and gambling drove revenues on the internet, five content groups are more successful than adult material on mobile phones: music, infotainment, images, videogames and web browsing. He reminds us that in 2005 one annoying ringtone, Crazy Frog, outsold all of iTunes. A key reason is that most content on the web is free whereas mobile phones arrived with a payment system pre-installed for calls, followed by a premium service for texting. If the web had had its own payment system it would have taken a different course.

Changing Industries

Tomi Ahonen writes:

In our book we talk about the 4C’s: Commerce, Culture, Community & Conectivity as a means to reliably map whether a commercial initiative will succeed or fail in todays world. We believe you need all 4.

I was asked, what comes next? The 2.0 question. And It was a good question.

My view is that, we are just about witnessing the dramatic reordering of the media industry, and in fact many other industries driven by the falling cost of technology, the fact we are a We species, and the fact that today we are all capable of creating and distributing, knowledge, information and culture.

So what next? The next is the reordering of Medicine Education and Politics. No aspect of what makes our civil society tick will be left untouched. Darwinism is upon us. Forcing us to adapt or die.

India’s Mobile Internet Market

ContentSutra interviews Rajiv Hiranandani of Mobile2Win, who offers some interesting stats: “around 15-16 million are CDMA with access to premium content. 7-9 million GSM handsets are GPRS enabled, and 40 percent (3-3.5 million) of these use operator WAP sites. So thats around 18-20 million potential targets for WAP based advertising. The situation with WAP is similar to that of Internet advertising in 1999-2000. The 14-25 year old age group is on WAP, and even the 10-11 year olds are now coming on to the mobile platform.”

Mobile Devices and Data

Tony Fish writes: “Our mobile device is not only with us, it is increasingly part of us; it has become for many users the most personal thing. Published research suggests that we notice the loss of the mobile device faster than our wallet. The mobile device, if capable, can capture your Digital Footprint [My first impression of this was described as the slug trail in Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte 1996. Digital Footprint is also known as a Lifestream. Lifestreams will soon be structured using APML as a common data interchange format for attention or iPALS – identity, Presence, Attention, Location and Services.] which is our daily actions and activities; when we start moving in the morning, what information was searched, requested or delivered, where we have been, where we stayed and for how long. Relationship analysis using our contact base would detail who we were with and who was nearby. Other Screens of Life [Screens of Life is a phrase explored in Mobile Web 2.0 as a mechanism to describe how we interact with media; both as a consumer of content and as a creator. The screens of life being Cinema, TV, PC, HeadRest (Airplane or Car), Mobile Device, Informational (iPod)] will be unable to repeat this data collection feat, at best a fixed access Web model may get 10% of the available data of your daily pattern, TV maybe 1%, but the mobile device opens the possibility of 90%.”

WiFi and Mobiles

BBC News writes:

As the numbers turning to 3G are climbing, those mobile networks could be forgiven for thinking that it was only a matter of time before they started recouping the considerable capital cost of buying and building that network.

Unfortunately the relentless pace of innovation may be about to dent the dreams of recovering those costs.

As hotspots get linked up into mesh networks that offer blanket coverage they create a rival to the 3G networks currently in existence.

Coming iPhone Era

Tomi Ahonen writes: “June 2007 marks a watershed moment in time. Much like the Western calendar marks time from before and after Jesus Christ, and how the computer world changed totally by the Macintosh – remembering that Windows is Microsoft’s copy of the Mac operating system – I am certain that the mobile telecoms world will count its time in two Eras. The Era BI: time Before the iPhone, and the ERA AI: time After the iPhone. What will change? Pretty much everything. And funnily enough, most of it is not actually caused by the iPhone, they only happen to occur so closely to the iPhone, that the iPhone will be given much of the credit.”

Helio’s Ocean Design

Technology Review writes about the design of the new mobile phone from Helio: “The Ocean is hefty by today’s sleek standards, pill-shaped in a market of rectangular things. The company’s future will hinge on how much the intended audience appreciates those departures from conventional design. It will hinge on the layout of the device’s QWERTY keyboard. It will hinge on the simplicity of the messaging and search interface (for instance, the way it allows users to start typing from idle mode). And it will hinge on–the hinges. The Ocean (which will sell for $295, plus a monthly fee of $65 to $135 for rich-media subscriptions and varying allotments of voice minutes) sports a pair of them; operated by a novel three-way spring, they enable a keyboard to slide out from one side of the device and a numerical keypad to slide out from another.”

3G Killer Apps

Reuters writes:

Mobile operators around the globe are busy rolling out 3G services and upgrades, dreaming of a day when users casually make video calls and download movies, allowing companies to reap several times more revenue per phone.

But that rosy future remains elusive. Despite the billions of dollars spent on new networks and marketing, operators are still struggling to find the new features customers cannot live without that will finally make 3G pay.

Analysts say many operators have neglected the development of content and services that their customers want in their headlong pursuit of new technology. Meanwhile users are still mostly just using their phones to make voice calls and send text messages.

Wireless Broadband

Knowledge@Wharton has a progress report:

The pieces appear to be falling in place for wireless broadband: Sprint Nextel says its next-generation high-speed network will be launched in a few markets by the end of 2007. Intel plans on embedding so-called “WiMAX” enabled semiconductors in laptops by the end of 2008, and the Federal Communications Commission on May 1 approved a laptop device that will receive WiMAX signals from a company called Clearwire. Other companies, such as T-Mobile, are supporting hybrid wireless networks so devices can hop between technologies.

Although these developments could be the Next Big Thing in broadband wireless access, it’s too early to say where this will all end up. For years, the industry has had a crystal clear vision of how users will connect to the Internet in the future: High-speed wireless devices will allow consumers to watch videos, share pictures, socialize and do many activities that haven’t even been thought up yet. The big unknown is when technology — or a combination of technologies — will make that vision a reality.