Tag Archives: mobile entertainment

Mobile World Congress 2008 Barcelona

Next week in Barcelona we have the yearly Mobile World Congress, the biggest event of the Mobile industry. The theme for this year is “Ubiquitous Mobile Services”, but could have been well re-named as “Ubiquitous transformation”, as the industry is more than ever in a continuous change.

What are the main axes on which the industry is transforming, on which there will be a focus in Barcelona?

Universal Broadband:Wimax, Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 4G. Femto cells as part of the Digital Home
IP Transformation: “all-IP” networks are a reality for the transport and the Core Network. Evolution to IMS to enable Multimedia Services blended with Internet and Web 2.0
Mobile Entertainment: Broadcast Mobile TV, Interactive TV and Advertisement. Monetizing the knowledge of your customers. Enabling UGC
New business models: MVNO, wholesale, RAN sharing
New handsets: convergent smartphones (mp3, phone, camera, PDA, video, wifi, email…) with iPhone as a reference, as well as future Android. Also new terminals for specific use bundled with applications: health-care, metering, surveillance, automobile, or Amazon Kindle

Mobile Operators are threatened by smarter phones, and by Internet players, to become dumb pipes or pure Mobile Connectivity Service Providers (MCSP). Many MSPs will show in Barcelona how they are transforming, or planning to, to avoid becoming MCSPs. We will report it from Barcelona next week.

Operators vs. Media companies


In GigaOM’s guest column, Mr Chetan Sharma writes an interesting article on the battle between operators and media companies to deliver mobile entertainment to the end-user.

Although Media companies are in better position to bring their content over agnostics IP networks – like the ones of mobile operators are becoming-, operators have still powerful arguments to leverage:

1) Billing relationship. Operators have a trusted billing relationship with operators, that puts them in good position to charge for premium content delivered over their networks

2) Customer ownership. Operators have access to plenty of information about their customers behavior. With proper Service Orchestrator software solutions, marketing campaigns can easily be tailored to match each user profile

3) Bundling services. A subscription fee for a mobile TV channel that also give access to a premium website, are easy options to add to the phone bill and give operator more room for promotions and cross-selling.

4) QoS : Quality of Service. With IMS deployed, only the mobile operators can control QoS. A guaranteed QoS enables carrier-grade VoIP and other real-time conversational services, like high definition video calls and video sharing, that Internet players can not deliver with best-effort Internet QoS.Once the operator controls the real-time services, then it is in a strong position to bundle presence, location, user profile and IM with conversational services. Without this bundling, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are even in better position than operators to provide applications based on presence, location or user profile (including advertisement).

On the content delivery side, similarly the battle is not lost for operators if they show the determination and courage to play their cards. See KDDI example of a music service that competes head to head with iTunes in Japan.

Related articles in tech-talk.biz:
http://tech-talk.biz/2007/12/15/iphone-friend-or-foe-can-mobile-operators-avoid-turning-into-pipes/
http://tech-talk.biz/2008/01/02/will-2008-be-the-year-of-mobile-advertisement/
http://tech-talk.biz/2008/01/12/kddi-lismo-best-mobile-music-service-in-the-world/

KDDI LISMO: Best Mobile Music Service in the World

KDDI Neon KDDI au

Few people are aware about the huge success that KDDI, #2 mobile operator in Japan, has achieved in selling music to mobile phones. LISMO is the name of the music service available to KDDI au subscribers, that offers song downloads over the air.

In a press release back in February 2007, KDDI already announced that they have exceeded 100 Million song downloads, since the EZ “Chaku-Uta Full” full track download was launched in November 2004.

The following table shows the remarkable growth:

KDDI and Sony announced in October 2007 that LISMO will now enable ‘Chaku-uta Full’ files downloaded to au mobile phones to be transferred to Sony audio equipment via a new ‘LISMO Port’ PC software. It is to work with Sony Walkman and with Sony Net Juke, HDD Stereo System. The service is named ‘au x Sony MUSIC PROJECT’. The intention is to make the protected music available to other devices than the au phones, in response to international music labels embracing DRM-free downloads.

The move also highlights how Sony and KDDI defend from the imminent iPhone assault to Japan. KDDI has a portfolio of music phones quite impressive, that will give a tough battle to iPhone. Sony may have lost the worldwide battle for mp3 players to Apple but, in cooperation with KDDI, might still resist in its domestic market. 3G iPhone in Japan will also be required to download songs over the air, to compete with KDDI service and devices.

KDDI LISMO shows how an operator with determination and courage is able to provide mobile entertainment without giving away the Service and Customer ownership, as AT&T’s has done with the iPhone and Verizon Wireless with the MTV/RealNetworks Rhapsody music service. Even NTT DoCoMo, number one operator in Japan, has been unable to replicate KDDI success after seeking agreements with Napster and Microsoft.

Well done KDDI. Keep giving example to other mobile operators.