Archive for December, 2008

Opt-in Subscription in India

I was going through certain numbers accross India recently. Mobile related professionals say that their highest business comes from North India. However, according to the numbers I saw, amazingly, most opt-in subscribers for any mobile marketing campaign are coming mostly from central, south and east Indian states and not from North India.

December 27th, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

You’re probably not in the office this week and yet I wanted to take a minute to send you a quick note wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Blessed Eid, or Happy Holidays! Regardless of what you celebrate now is the time to relax, take a break from work for a couple of days and reflect on your successes from this past year.

2 comments December 25th, 2008

Mobile Connections worldwide

Mobile Connections worldwide have exceeded the 4 Billion mark…

December 24th, 2008

Retailers need to go mobile

Young and old generation these days is changing locations more often then before either for studies or for jobs or just for plain trave and adventure and hue are constantly on the move. 

This group is not restricted to the young demographic, but includes their parents, traveling work force, and the internet driven consumer.

To insure that mobile customers can order food, refill prescriptions, track a package, make a reservation, locate your nearest branded store, or use a “promotional” coupon, retailers need to provide a website optimized for the mobile customers. 

Using any form of website analytics a retailer can see that mobile browsers are a growing percentage of their users.

To understand the force and direction of the market, just look at the new generation of smart phones: Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Blackberry’s Storm.

Making a phone call is a small function of today’s mobile device.

The demand for information has grown and consumers want access 24-7 and I feel only thing most personal to them is mobile today which is always on, always with them and one which can update them with information from around the world minute by minute.

No matter the advertising media, the mobile consumer can react instantly to an advertising message.   

This allows a merchant to cater to its mobile consumers through advertising over many mediums and track trends and responses of the mobile consumers.

Web site analytics allow a retailer to know how customers are using their site. 

A retailer’s mobile site should provide the functionality that is used by 80 percent of its current online users.

This would allow your mobile users the most popular features and benefits of your site.

Using what we learned to attract consumers to wired internet sites during their initial years, the process is repeating itself and mobile consumers are looking for the best service and value optimized to the mobile device.

Mobile sites are secured in the same manner as wired online sites so consumers can feel safe making mobile purchases.

Allow a consumer to access your mobile website with a branded web address for all locations and be directed to your store step by step with the integrated location services. 

Once in the store or logged in to the mobile site, present the consumer with a paperless or “green” coupon by displaying the bar code on the screen of the mobile device. 

This also works for customer reward cards, frequent buyer cards and other barcodes which would make for smaller key chains and slimmer wallets. 

Mobile customers cover a variety of ages, occupations and spending habits.

Just watch the data on web site users and see that the number of mobile devices using web sites is growing. Turn the browsers into buyers by creating a mobile site for the brand.

(Source: Excerpts from the article from Richard Wise, VP of operations at Brandt Information Services Inc.)

December 24th, 2008

IPhone – an operator’s friend or a foe…

Strand Consult laid out, why having the Apple iPhone on your network might not be the best thing in the world. In their own words:

Strand Consult is not in the business of creating hype around technology, our business is to explain to mobile operators how the future market will evolve and how to make money for their shareholders.

…so their ten points on the iPhone are well worth reading in this article. You can read the details here, but their main topics are given below, with little notes of my own thoughts on each area.

1. The iPhone attracts a limited market segment, Apple’s goal was a global market share of 1%. But despite this, the iPhone is not a mass-market product; it is a product that attracts a niche segment. In India too, there are not many serious takers of iPhone. Many just carry the same just as their style statement while carrying a second phone to make or recieve calls. I have personally come across many who are out of reach when somebody sitting next to them tries to call them.
 
2. Marketing the iPhone takes away staff from more profitable sectors.

3. Customers not interested in iphone have been the neglected lot.  Could some of those customers that are not interested in an iPhone feel more welcome with operators that do not carry the iPhone and is not it likely that focusing on a niche product will result in neglecting customers that are the actual foundation of an operator’s existence?

4. While the data usage of the iPhone is promoted, most people are switching to the iphone from other data handsets, not coming into the network specifically for that, so the actual educational effect of the iPhone is minimal. Perhaps operators should take a closer look at these customers voice ARPU rather than their data consumption?
 
5. Having iPhone customers using large data volumes sounds good, but when data is being sold at a flat rate, a high data consumption results in high production costs without the corresponding increased revenue. You could compare the operators’ attitude towards the iPhone’s data consumption with a restaurant owner that has a “all you can eat for 10 Euro” buffet and that is proudest of the customers that eat the most! In this business the idea is to generate revenue for the shareholders, not to increase the production volume and costs, while at the same time minimising revenue.
 
6. When you examine the iPhone data consumption, you will see that iPhone customers use their browser to view ordinary websites and that they often choose not to view the websites in XHTML – optimised for low bandwidth and mobile phone sized screens. In practice this results in that when an iPhone user browses a typical news site, an ordinary web page will be around 1 MB, while the mobile version of the same page will often be less than 100 Kb. It is significantly cheaper for an operator to produce 100 Kb data than it is to produce 1 MB data and it is much more fun to deliver 100 KB rather than 1 MB when you are selling data at a flat rate.
 
7. Apple’s App store gives no fees to the operator (in the same way as Nokia share revenue via the N-Gage on device store), and has a kickback from the data tariffs. In short they regard networks as dumb bit pipes.

8. Strand’s research shows that there is not one single Apple partner in the world among the mobile operators that has increased their overall turnover due to the iPhone. So apart from the press coverage, what value has the iPhone actually created for the shareholders of the operators that have chosen to become Apple iPhone partners?
 
9. The unlocking handset market worldwide is huge for unofficial handsets. These phones are most often used on other non-Apple partner networks thus depriving the apple partner networks off the revenue.
 
10. Other Operators and MVNO’s are directly benefiting from (9) without having to invest in all the other iPhone structure requested by Cupertino.

The conclusion is simple. This is not good business for shareholders of operators that are Apple and iPhone partners – on the contrary it is far better business not been an Apple and iPhone partner. Operators that choose not to carry iPhone products have an increased probability of serving their shareholders interests over those that move their management’s focus, subsidies, marketing and distribution power on a product that is as beautiful as Paris Hilton, but increases production costs and where there may not be a relationship between revenue and costs.

December 23rd, 2008

25mn phones to go out of service

DoT has instructed operators to disconnect all handsets which do not have an IMEI number from January 6th 2009

December 21st, 2008

Optical Cable Cuts Disrupt Internet Service in India & the Middle East

Three international submarine cables in the Mediterranean Sea were damaged on Dec.19th. , causing disruptions to internet and phone traffic in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and all of the Gulf states. Many technology companies in India and many BPOs have taken the pacific route for managing the traffic. Some companies are having alternative support systems and are not being affected much but some who don’t have, are concerned that this problem may hinder them from fulfillment of their client SLAs. Authorities claim the damaged cables are the FLAG Europe-Asia cable, operated by Reliance Globalcom, and two consortium cables, SeaMeWe-3 and SeaMeWe-4 owned jointly by several telecommunications companies.

December 21st, 2008

Where R Mobile Sales Dipping???

Most of the companies are saying that mobile sales are dipping…

In last 10 days or so, I have personally met close to 50 odd people and atleast 30 of them have said that they bought a new mobile in last one month. While about 10 of the rest, have shown interest in buying a business phone like Blackberry or Nokia in next 1 month.

I wonder why…companies are saying that their mobile sales are dipping!!!

December 20th, 2008

India to Shut Down 25 Million Mobile Phones in January

Cellular-news reports that as many as 25 million mobile phones could be cut off in India from next month – following a security clamp down on unregistered mobile phones following ongoing terrorist attacks in the country. According to the Mobile World subscriber­ tracker, the country ended September with around 315 million mobile phone subscribers.

The department of telecom (DoT) has instructed the mobile network operators to disconnect all handsets which do not have an IMEI number from January 6th 2009.

December 19th, 2008

Mobile Messaging Revenues to Defy Economic Downturn

­Mobile messaging vendor, Airwide Solutions has published the results of an independent study on the use of mobile messaging across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The results prove that despite warnings of turmoil throughout the global economy, growth in mobile messaging shows no signs of slowing.

[Source: Cellular-news]

December 18th, 2008

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