Archive for August, 2009

3G hopes rise in India…

After much delay (which costed Indian Government loss of as much as $16B), government has finally fixed the 3G spectrum bid price to Rs. 3,500 crore (earlier it was fixed at Rs. 4,040 crore). Earlier, lot of comotion was created by operators over WiMAX spectrum pricing – WiMAX base price, earlier as suggested by DoT was Rs. 1,000 crore and operators wanted 3G base price to be in the same range. (WiMAX base price has now being increased to Rs. 1,750 crore (as per our sources)). A total of 5 players will be allowed to offer 3G services in every circle, of which one slot will be reserved for state-owned telcos BSNL & MTNL. 3G auction, as mentioned by government will be completed in 90 days and government is expecting Rs. 25,000 crore from these auction. So finally, things seem to move in some direction.

August 30th, 2009

Social Media : What would Don Draper do ?

I attended an interesting event at the Wireless Technology Forum, Atlanta last week. It was a SIG event by WTF WAMM (Wireless Apps and Mobile Media) group. The speaker was Stephanie Frost, Marketing Director with zero-g creative. Stephanie is a Social Media / Social Networking expert advising clients on using Social Media interaction as a strategy and marketing tool. This includes blogging, twittering, Facebook, Linkedin, Email Marketing etc.

Stephanie did a great job using Don Draper (protagonist of AMC Television series Mad Men – Don is an Advertising Director at a fast-charging Madison Avenue Ad Agency) as an ad icon. She started off by asking what would Don Draper do in the new world of Social Media (though I missed the connection clearly). Here are the key points she presented :

Social Media is not Advertising. It is about listening and having a conversation with the end customer. Social Media (SM) has leveled the playing field for startups and entrepreneurs with respect to larger, established businesses. The success in Social media is sometimes counted by the buzz the media campaign creates, whether buzz is relevant or not is immaterial. Case in example, Palm Pre’s creepy ads on TV. Palm claims success of the ad based on the buzz it created – however the ad itself is not stimulating in a positive way.

Stephanie says that few firms get the idea of Social Media so far. This is because a relatively new form of media and firms are just beginning to get their feet wet. Also there are a plethora of Social Media choices : YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, TwitterFriendFeed, Linkedin, Flickr and so on.

On Twitter, she said that it is a compelling channel which just works for lot of different kind of needs like company alerts, Customer Service complaints and so on.

Stephanie talked about viral marketing. She gave the example of Evian Roller Babies ad on YouTube and how it has become a viral hit. Not many firms have mastered viral marketing yet (I want to add the recent German stuntman viral ad tried by Microsoft Germany which gained headlines).

Recent stats indicate that spending on ads fell by 5.9%. But on the other hand, spending in Social Media is increasing. But in the overall scheme of ad budgets, Social Media spending remains minuscule. Stephanie said that three quarters of the marketers have less than $100K budgeted for Social Media marketing.

Mobile Advertising, although a smaller sliver of ad budgets today, is increasing, however, at a fast pace in USA. US Advertisers are expected to spend $229 million on mobile media in 2009 which is 26% more than the $169 million they spent in 2008. Mobile Ad Spending is expected to double to $409 million by 2011.

Recap : Overall Ad Spending is down, Social Media budgets are small but growing, Mobile Ad spending is faring somewhat better.

Excellent presentation Stephanie. Thanks for the insights.

WAMM Team (Steve Bachman, Richard Yates, Ed Pimentel) at WTF – Good job pulling these sessions together on Mobile Apps and Mobile Media.

August 20th, 2009

This is how you remain at the top slot!

Nokia has over 50% of the huge (over 400M subscribers) Indian mobile market. And they dont plan to stop there. With almost everyone in the urban areas already with a cell phone, its clear that the growth is in the rural market. So what does Nokia do: make their low end cellphones even more affordable by providing an installment plan. Yes, an installment payment plan on the handset where installments are as low as $2.

Click here to read the full article.

August 20th, 2009

Its all Data anyway!

A very interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the future of voice and data :
“There is no such thing as voice or text or music or TV shows or video. They are all just data.”
The author goes on to propose some ideas on how to let data flow.  Some of which are common in other countries (‘End phone exclusivity’) and others which could mean a big change in how companies operate (‘Transition away from “owning” airwaves’).

Click here to read the full article.

August 20th, 2009

Android powered Motorola phones to soon have movie streaming…

The famous American movie rental company BlockBuster  has signed a deal with Motorola to provide ondemand movies soon on their android powered smart phones…

Date is still uncertain for the launch of service but the deal has been struck…

The mobile video market is expected to see rapid growth over the next few years as networks and handsets get better, and as the business models are refined.

Christy Wyatt, VP of software platforms at Motorola, said in one of his statements that “Mobile video entertainment is exploding, as consumers are demanding the widest selection of content: the movies they love in their living room and on their PC, now are also available on their mobile phone, while on the go.” 

The move is just the latest by BlockBuster to get expand its services beyond its retail locations in order to combat rivals such as Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Roku, TiVo, and on-demand video services from cable providers. The company recently inked a deal with Samsung to bring its instant-movie service to high-definition TVs, home theater system, and Blu-ray players.

Read more here…

August 19th, 2009

4G is here…

If you follow the 4G space and liked the article on CLEAR, you must check out this post by Om Malik. Its about Verizon and the roll out of LTE in Boston and Seattle.

What is LTE? In simple terms, LTE lets you browse internet on your phone at the speeds you get on your laptops today. Basically you have internet in your pocket and dont need wifi or even your laptop. For more details, click here.

This is a positive development for companies in the mobile media space. Companies betting on the mobile phones to become the first screen instead of the third screen will get a pump from services like this.

August 17th, 2009

Bank Allows Deposits Via iPhone

iPhone being used in US by USAA for enabling cheque deposits and just in 3 days there has been whooping $ 1.5 million. Want to know how?

…Read here.

August 14th, 2009

As Ad Spending Declines Magazines Move to Mobile

This is the recent post in Gigaom’s blog. It gives info on how some magazines in USA are planning to to start selling advertisers joint print and mobile ad packages for upcoming issues.

It can be a good lesson for Indian print media too as one of the prominent magazines I know in India is suffering majorly due to lack of ads too in their regular weekly issues. It’s division head says earlier there used to be more then 20 ads in their magazines where as now more then 18 come from the group’s own businesses. I strongly feel that when 3G becomes stable and iPhone becomes the norm of the day, then many such applications will start floating in India too and magazines will switch fast from print only media ads to mobile advertising too…

August 13th, 2009

Are we clear about CLEAR™?

CLEAR™ is the brand name for next generation mobile internet products and services offered by Clearwire. CLEAR™ is the fastest mobile internet around and it’s powered by WiMAX . WiMax is one of the 4G technologies (next-generation data networks), faster than 3G speeds which are gaining popularity by the day.

CLEAR™ provides super fast mobile internet. All you need is a card you can connect to your laptop (some laptops have it built-in) and you can access internet anywhere where there is CLEAR™ coverage. You can get speeds from 4 to 6 Mbps. According to the firm, currently it available in 3 cities (Portland, Atlanta and Las Vegas) with plans to expand rapidly. The service is provided by Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) which has the backing of Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Samsung.

This will be a very interesting space to watch going forward as both AT&T and Verizon get ready to role out LTE (the other 4G technology). With high stakes in Clearwire, Sprint has started promoting the 4G network. Another partner, Comcast, has plans to promote CLEAR™ as part of its bundle. The space will get even more interesting when 4G capable mobile phones hit the market.

Finally, check out this video. This explains how a dual card can be used to access 3G or 4G speeds depending on the city and the coverage available.

August 12th, 2009

Query for the readers of our blog…

About half a million illeterate people are expected on a single location of India in near future.If not all, atleast 50% of them will be carrying mobiles. I would like to know, what is the best way to know the numbers of these people in least possible cost without involving the wireless carriers. Kindly also give cost implications if possible…Some govt. authority has put forth this query…for best management of this audience…wirelessly…

3 comments August 11th, 2009

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