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Verizon Wireless posts strong results October 30, 2006

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Verizon continues to dominate the big 3. Q3 results - $8.5B in service revenues, $50.59 ARPU, $7.15 data ARPU or 14.1% of the overall ARPU. $1.2B in data revenues. Almost 31M data subs out of 56.7M.

DoCoMo and Sprint numbers October 27, 2006

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DoCoMo released its 1H numbers - ARPU declined slightly to 6720 yen, data ARPU increased slightly, % share increased to 29.6%.

Sprint had a hard time adding subs, adding a miniscule 233K over the last quarter losing many precious post paid subs. Overall ARPU declined to $61 while data ARPU increased to $7.75 or 12.70%. Q4 will be critical.

IBM’s lawsuit against Amazon October 24, 2006

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I do a ton of patent and IP litigation/infringement work. I was doing some research on recommendation engine/e-commerce patents last year and came across a good number of patents from IBM with good priority dates, so it was no surprise that IBM is suing Amazon.com over patent infringement, alleging the online company knowingly built its business on five technologies IBM owns. Apparently, it is a more of a tactical ploy by IBM to force some sales at Amazon which has been tied to HP.

India’s net-adds surpasses China

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As we mentioned in one of our earlier posts and also in our detailed report on Indian Wireless Market back in May, India’s net-adds (wireless subscribers) surpassed China this last quarter (Source: The Mobile World)

 

Can it continue the pace? All depends on the rural expansion plans. More on the subject in subsequent posts.

Vote for your favorite blogs at October 23, 2006

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http://www.fiercewireless.com/fiercefavorites

Carnival of the Mobilists #50

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Carlo Longino hosts the milestone carnival at Mobhappy. Be sure to check out this week’s best entries (including ours). Thanks Carlo.

Sell Phones: What will make Mobile Advertising tick? October 19, 2006

Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, ARPU, BRIC, Carriers, Devices, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, MVNO, Mergers and Acquisitions, Messaging, Middleware, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Search, Mobile TV, Mobile Usability, Mobile Wallet, Partnership, Privacy, Smart Phones, Strategy, US Wireless Market, Unified Messaging, Usability, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments

The full version of the paper is available now -

http://www.chetansharma.com/sellphones.htm (pdf download)

 

Introduction

Mobile Marketing and Advertising is the new “it” in the industry. All the three recent industry shows (MES, MECCA, and CTIA)[1] in LA last month were buzzing with the potential of mobile advertising. For carriers, who until now had not paid attention to this evolving sub-segment, have started to organize internally to be the clearinghouse and magnet for agencies and advertisers. The advertising agencies and big brands have started to throw MDF[2] dollars at experimenting with this new medium called mobile. Analysts have started predicting billion dollar markets by 2010[3]. The ecosystem has also started shifting and new alliances are being probed and tested for positioning. Is mobile marketing going to be another over-hyped industry segment or will it actually help generate revenue, drive exits for VC investments, enhance content value-proposition, and most importantly, deliver value to the consumers? This article discusses the elements that are critical for the long-term viability of the mobile advertising and marketing industry.

How big is the market?

 

To get a grip on the potential market in the US or Western Europe, we take a look at Japan[4] as the harbinger of what’s to come in this space. According to Dentsu, mobile advertising revenues for 2006 will be approximately $373M or close to $3.8 per subscriber (for the year). By 2009, this number is likely to scale to over $6/sub/year[5] (Figure 1). According to InfoPlant, almost 60% of the Japanese consumers use mobile coupons and discounts more than once a month[6]. The US market is just starting to get organized and move from SMS marketing to mobile/local search marketing, interstitials, in-content ads, banner ads, etc. In 2006, US will do less than $1/sub (for the year) in mobile advertising revenues, bulk of which will be SMS marketing. Europe is also slowly waking up to the possibilities around mobile ads and has been experimenting with some clever business models such as Operator “3” subsidizing usage and phones in lieu of advertising on the phone. These models are also being offered in the microenvironments of downloadables, subscriptions, video streams, etc.

Figure 1. Mobile Advertising Revenue Growth in Japan[7]

It is apparent that due to the availability of context, immediacy, and personalization, mobile has significant advantages over the other channels as an advertising medium.

The potential is clearly there but how long will it take to reach a critical mass? How many years before the industry cracks $1B? $10B? For reference, it took 2, 4, and 5 years for Broadcast, Internet, and Cable advertising respectively, to cross the $1B revenue mark; 5 years for Internet and Broadcast advertising to cross the $5B mark. None of them crossed $10B mark in their first 10 years of existence[8] (Figure 2). Will mobile be any different? Instead of being a blip in the advertising revenue stream, when will the mobile segment start rivaling revenues generated from advertising on Internet, Radio, Newspaper, and TV? Can it? If yes, what does it take to get there? What technical, business, and legal issues need to be addressed before agencies have dedicated staff to tackle mobile advertising and real dollars instead of MDFs as part of the budgeting exercise? Finally, who will be the dominant players controlling the ecosystem five years from now?

 

Figure 2. Annual Ad revenue growth in broadcast, cable, internet in the first 11 years[9]

Technology Requirements

 

First, let’s discuss the technology piece. As we have seen in Japan and Korea, higher processing power handsets and 3G pipes play a significant role in the adoption of rich advertising content. If an ad is non-intrusive, delivers value, and is relevant to the consumer; there will be a higher propensity of adoption vs. when after 45 seconds of “connecting to server” screen, an ad rears its ugly head to slam in the face of an already frustrated consumer. In the US, 3G is being adopted fairly aggressively and when Cingular picks up pace with its WCDMA/HSDPA deployment, growth is going to accelerate into 2007. By 2008, 3G penetration will reach over 25%[10]. Adoption of Smartphones is also increasing (Figure 3). With Motorola’s Q and RIM’s Pearl, price point is getting near mass-market consumption levels. By next year, we will start seeing $100 smartphones. In the US, 25% of the converged devices sold during the first half of 2006 were 3G devices. This is up from just 3% in 2005. User interfaces are also getting better. UIOne, MYDAS, Flash, Screen 3, 1mm, and other proprietary solutions are extending the possibilities. In terms of options, there are different channels available – SMS, MMS, Search, Browser, Games, Video/TV, etc. each with its pros and cons and maturity level in the market (Figure 4 and 5).

Figure 3. Expected lifecycle of various key technologies in the US[11]

Figure 4. Mobile advertising channels[12]

Most of the effective mobile advertising and marketing will be search driven – whether it is based on declared intent from the user or passive impressions based on user’s context, history, and preferences. Google is an example of the former while Amazon is a brilliant case study of the latter. Local search and advertisements will be a significant part of the equation. As Mark Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Service[13] recently quipped in his recent column “Searching for Transactions”, “Search isn’t about advertising, it’s about shopping, which is why the advertisers have to be there”. It is truer in the mobile environment. Astute advertisers realize the proximity and intimacy of the medium and already conjuring up clever ways to engage the consumer. Service providers with good “mobile” search engine technology will be at competitive advantage as they build a strategic framework to address the bigger opportunity.

Figure 5. Consumption of various services in key western nations[14]

For mobile advertising to be successful, one needs “reach”, “purity”, and “analytics” (Figure 6). Reach is how many “real” customers do you have? Purity is the “quality” of information on the customers. Name and address just don’t cut it. Analytics is matching users interests – implicit and explicit, context, preferences, network and handset conditions to ads and promotions in real-time. Not just bucketing a user in a group and giving them a number but understanding the user in every way possible and customizing every single interaction, every single push, every single imprint, and every single promotion to the finest degree possible.

So, who has the reach? Clearly, carriers with millions of billing relationships currently have the tightest relationship with the end-customer in this ecosystem and has the most relevant transactions to build a good customer profile fingerprint[15]. On the other end are the Internet brands like Yahoo, Google, and MSN with over half a billion unique visitors each. Other important players include giants like Amazon, EBay, Myspace, Youtube, Skype, AOL, and Paypal.

Figure 6. Mobile Advertising and Marketing Framework

The internet brands have good reach but limited purity. Purity is about good profile data. The customer profile information that Internet players have assimilated doesn’t really always translate well into a view of a customer’s interests and preferences. They can and will build a direct relationship with consumer but it will take time and has to overcome some technical and business hurdles.

Finally, one needs the analytical framework. The goal of the framework is to capture the behavior and interests of the user while they are browsing, shopping, interacting with a variety of applications and content, and even simply calling 1-800-Flowers. This knowledge mixed with the explicit profile helps enable build characteristics and traits of users on a mass scale. Once the segmentation and understanding of the user is fine-tuned, the gathered knowledge can be continuously applied to enhance the user experience while they are interacting with their mobile phone by targeted promotions and offers sent to the user, and mobile advertising can be enabled such that it adds value to the user experience.

In terms of platforms, there has been a lot of activity on building backends, but little progress on the front-end where it matters the most. What is absolutely needed is an easily accessible control framework for “permission advertising/marketing” so that the user can selectively or globally switch-on or off the types of ads/promotions they would like to entertain and when. We need a SIP/Presence like capability that works across all apps and services and is as universally accessible through open APIs. Mobile advertising is not just all visual either. It can interact with the customer while they are on hold or support free 411 or premium services or can be integrated with podcasts, essentially finding clever ways to provide ad/promotion content in exchange for something that provides value to the end-user. The context engine combines various inputs and uses location and other contextual information to package information before it is pulled or pushed to the consumer. This is true for all the application areas such as portals, storefronts, local search, mobile search, off-net access, and other applications.

The value chain

 

As the convergence continues, the mobile ecosystem keeps shifting. Currently, the mobile advertising chain consists of the following main segments (Figure 7):

Campaign Sponsors American Express, P&G, GE, Toyota, etc.

(Advertisers)

Marketing Agencies Ogilvy, Universal, Carat, Mindshare, etc.

Enablers ThirdScreenMedia, Admob, MobiTV, Enpocket, Rhythm NewMedia, Medio, ActionEngine, Screen Tonic, Google, Yahoo, Tellme, MSN, Infospace, etc.

Content Provider CNN, Disney, Yahoo, YouTube, ESPN, Mixxer, Intercasting, etc.

Aggregators mBlox, Infospace, WSC, etc.

Carriers Sprint Nextel, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Telefonica, Verizon, Cingular, Virgin, amp’D, Clearwire, etc.

Consumers You and Me

For each of the participants, there are some inherent benefits, specifically,

For the carrier, it is an excellent way to build loyalty and “stickiness”. It is also a way to take the saturated levels of data users to another level by subsidizing premium content and even transport costs by advertising thus lowering the barrier-to-usage. However, the carriers need to balance the influx of users and data traffic with the potential for additional revenues. Spectrum is still limited and it needs to be used wisely in any strategic scenario.

For the user, relevant (opt-in) and targeted advertising and promotions deliver value. In all recent surveys, the number of users willing to pay for the Mobile TV service is a very small fraction of the number of users who want to use the service. With advertising, they can afford more and start enjoying the full capabilities of their handsets.

Figure 7. The emerging mobile advertising value chain[16]

From an advertiser’s point of view, mobile provides unparalleled reach and a reliable and fairly accurate measurement tool. The ad/promotion system should have the capability to create promotions at national and local level (city, zip code, location) and everything in between. The system needs to support extensive querying and segmentation capability to design sophisticated campaigns for e.g.

· Give me users who are most likely to purchase a new ringtone from Usher.

· Give me users who are Pop aficionados, have coke as their favorite cola, wear Nike shoes, single, living in large metro areas on the east coast, income level above $120K, have ARM11 or higher devices, and have responded to at least 50% of ads in the past 2 months.

For evaluating the mobile medium, advertisers are using the same criterion as they have used for other channels, namely:

Reach – how big is the audience esp., unique and regular visitors?

Purity – how good is the user profile information?

Frequency – how often is the audience exposed to advertisements?

Performance – what’s the quantitative measurement criterion to determine effectiveness of the campaigns?

Advertising inventory – what’s the availability of ad slots on premium properties?

Advertising units – what’s the size and shape of advertising content?

Tools – what kind of tools are available to run the lifecycle of a campaign? How does mobile advertising fit into the larger advertising budgets and planning?

For content providers, both big and small, it offers an ability to go direct in addition to working with carriers on revenue-sharing arrangements. If a content-providers has traction and user profile data for a few million loyal subscribers, advertisers would love to talk to you. But, as we discussed earlier, it comes down to reach and purity of the subscriber base.

Risks

 

While the potential is immense, there are also significant risks and potential challenges that need to be tackled before the industry evolves into a vibrant advertising medium. The prominent amongst them are privacy and data security. Once you start mining user data, significant profile information can be developed. Then how that information is used and by whom becomes an issue, and a significant legal minefield. In addition, if the industry doesn’t want regulators to get involved, the security policies and procedures need to be in place to protect the data from theft or misuse. Next, the advertising ecosystem needs to be fostered so that everyone in the value chain benefits relative to their contribution.

Some people have compared the advertising ecosystem to lions (advertisers) and antelopes (consumers), where you need enough antelopes to attract the lions but not enough lions that you scare away the antelopes[17]. As Omar indicates in his article, advertising needs to align the interests of different players in the value chain to keep plenty of antelopes around the watering hole. As we have seen time and time again, if the ecosystem is healthy, segment thrives otherwise it is relegated to slow growth or the interest dissipates altogether. There needs to be a good balance of power between advertisers, content providers, carriers, and consumers.

Value-chain dynamics

 

It is clear that mobile advertising and marketing has big potential if certain technical and business requirements are met and industry strives to take into account the user considerations that matter the most. But, which players will dominate and control the ecosystem. Without a doubt, carriers have the purest profile information available, but can they execute their strategies? Well, they have approximately 3-4 year window. Once 3G and Smartphone penetration curves collide and pass 20-30%, if the carriers haven’t built a good mousetrap (value proposition) by then, all bets are off. Different dominant players will start to emerge, as it will get easier for Internet and traditional brands to build direct relationships with a good proportion of the subscriber base. It is also possible that in some geographies carriers and brands will work closely to establish a tight service offering and equitable revenue split. Role of savvy brands like P&G who are generally ahead of the curve on most technology trends is going to be important. Brands and service providers who are able to integrate user experience across channels will benefit the most (Microsoft will be a strong player in cross-channel advertising). There is real value in understanding user behavior on the Internet and mobile and cross-leverage in a) building a solid profile fingerprint and b) using it to push content.

Then, there is the whole world of off-net advertising and marketing. Carriers are increasingly playing a lesser role in that segment. But the market is very fragmented amongst hundreds of content providers and mini-aggregators. They only have a piece of the (reach and purity) puzzle and hence the analytics they apply will be limited in scope. Could they collaborate to work to leverage each-others strength? Certainly. Can the user profile information be available as a web service (with user’s permission of course)? Sure. Can carriers start to offer that to trusted providers in exchange for revenue-share? Possibly. There is clearly enough room for experimentation in both technology and business models arena of this nascent industry segment. Finally, ads and promotions should be “super-distribution-friendly” (across carriers and devices) meaning — treat ads and promotions like content that can be passed around “easily.”

Conclusion

 

It is quite clear from the industry trends that mobile industry (especially in the US) is moving from an emerging state to a more interactive and immersive application and services environment. By 2011, advertising industry will be close to $600B. Can mobile start to increase its revenue share from its current levels of less than 0.2% to 2-5% by then? Since this medium can provide context, immediacy, and personalization, the answer is yes. However, there are technical, business, and legal hurdles to be crossed before the industry becomes a thriving institution.

Until then, stay tuned to our commentary on the shifts and turns in the ecosystem.

Acknowledgements

My thanks to Sunil Jain, Victor Melfi, Amar Patel, Anne Baker, Sarla Sharma, Shawn Conahan, and Subhadeep Chatterjee for their valuable assistance with the article.


 

[1] Coverage of fall shows (2006) is available at http://www.chetansharma.com/ctia0906roundup.htm .

[2] Market Development Funds (MDF) are typically allocated for new media activities.

[3] In a recent report, Informa estimated that the mobile advertising market is going to be worth $871m this year, and will jump to $11.35bn in 2011.

[4] Japan is the second largest advertising market in the world behind US. Japan is also the first country to exceed 50% 3G penetration earlier this year.

[5] Source: Dentsu, Chetan Sharma Consulting

[6] Source: http://www.wirelesswatch.jp//modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2021

[7] Source: Dentsu, Chetan Sharma Consulting

[8] Year 1: 1995 for Internet, 1980 for Cable, and 1945 for Broadcast TV (Source: IAB).

[9] Source: IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, 2005 Full Year Results, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

[10] For a more exhaustive discussion on 3G, please see http://www.chetansharma.com/cover%20story_3G.pdf

[11] Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting

[12] Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting, Q206

[13] http://www.tapsns.com

[14] Data Source: M:Metrics, Aug 2006

[15] While carriers have the most pertinent data on the users, it resides in disparate locations and very few have realized the long-term value of such an exercise.

[16] Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting

[17]Lions and Antelopes in the Advertising Ecosystem”, Omar Tawakol, Revenue Science

Cingular Q3 numbers

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Cingular reported strong Q3 numbers. $49.76 ARPU and $6.32 data ARPU or 12.70%. States UMTS/HSDPA to drive data growth.

Always On Real-Time Access October 17, 2006

Posted by chetan in : General , 3 comments

laptop.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was visiting with a friend last night discussing various topics and he mentioned that a mutual acquaintance of ours had installed Slingbox in India to watch India TV broadcast in the US. Ingenious! (of course there are bandwidth performance issues, but you get the point)

US Population to cross 300M October 16, 2006

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The third largest population is going to hit a milestone tomorrow morning - 300M. CTIA is reporting 225,313,484 subscribers as of this afternoon i.e approximately 75.1% penetration. The last 100M only took 39 years.

 

Population graph

Some other interesting tid-bits

  • The average US family had 4.5 people in 1915, 3.3 in 1967 and 2.6 in 2006
  • Some 45.9% of Americans were property owners in 1915. That grew to 63.6% in 1967 and reached 68.9% in 2006
  • There were 4.5 million people aged 65 and older in 1915, or 4.5%; 19.1 million in 1967 (9.5%) and 36.8 million in 2006 (12.4%)
  • Life expectancy was 54.5 years in 1915, 70.5 years in 1967 and 77.8 years in 2006
  • There were 2.5 million cars in 1915, 98.9 million in 1967 and 237.2 million in 2006
  • One birth every……………………………. 7 seconds
  • One death every……………………………. 13 seconds
  • One international migrant (net) every………… 31 seconds
  • Net gain of one person every………………… 11 seconds
  • US Population Clock at http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.ht…

    Google, YouTube and Lawsuits

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    As Sunil forecasted, lawyers at media companies are starting to get busy.

    From WSJ

    News Corp., General Electric’s NBC Universal and Viacom, Inc. are banding together to mount a potential lawsuit against Google, Inc. and its new acquisition, YouTube. This might be a negotiating tactic by the media companies to ensure that Google cuts them a favorable deal, but according to the group’s lawyers, YouTube could be liable for copyright penalties of $150K per unauthorized video. Viacom, for example, believes that video clips from its channels–including MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon–are watched 80,000 times a day on YouTube. That adds up to billions, if you do the math.

    Carnival of the Mobilists #49 at Mobile Opportunity

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    Mobile Opportunity is hosting the Carnival this week. Please visit and check out the week’s best entries.

    Sell Phones: What will make mobile advertising tick? October 12, 2006

    Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, ARPU, BRIC, Devices, European Wireless Market, Gaming, Indian Wireless Market, Intellectual Property, International Trade, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Mergers and Acquisitions, Messaging, Microsoft Mobile, Middleware, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Search, Mobile TV, Networks, Privacy, Smart Phones, Strategy, US Wireless Market, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 4 comments

    This column is going to appear in FierceMobileContent tomorrow.

    Mobile Marketing and Advertising is the new “it” in the industry. All the recent industry shows have been buzzing with the potential of mobile advertising. Is mobile marketing going to be another over-hyped industry segment or will it actually help generate revenues, drive exits for VC investments, and most importantly, deliver value to the consumers? While the potential exists, there are several technical, business, and legal hurdles that need to be overcome before mobile advertising becomes a successful industry.

    To get a grip on the potential market, we take a look at Japan as the harbinger of what’s to come in this space. According to Dentsu, mobile advertising revenues for 2006 will be approximately $373M or close to $3.8 per subscriber (for the year). By 2009, this number is likely to scale to over $6/sub/year. In 2006, US will do less than $1/sub (for the year) in mobile advertising revenues, bulk of which will be SMS marketing. Clearly, potential is big. It is apparent that due to the availability of context, immediacy, and personalization, mobile has significant advantages over the other channels as an advertising medium.

    First, let’s discuss the technology piece. As we have seen in Japan and Korea, higher processing power handsets and 3G pipes play a significant role in the adoption of rich advertising content. In the US, by 2008, 3G penetration will reach over 25%. Adoption of Smartphones is also increasing. By next year, we will start seeing $100 smartphones. User interfaces are also getting better. UIOne, MYDAS, Flash, Screen 3, 1mm, and other proprietary solutions are extending the possibilities. In addition, search (including local) is going to be at the epicenter — whether advertising is based on declared intent from the user or passive impressions based on user’s context, history, and preferences.

    For mobile advertising to be successful, one needs “reach”, “purity”, and “analytics”. Reach is how many “real” customers do you have? Purity is the “quality” of information on the customers. Name and address just don’t cut it. Analytics is matching users interests – implicit and explicit, context, preferences, network and handset conditions to ads and promotions in real-time. Not just bucketing a user in a group and giving them a number but understanding the user in every way possible and customizing every single interaction to the finest degree possible. Also, what is absolutely needed is an easily accessible control framework for “permission advertising” so that the user can selectively or globally switch-on or off the types of ads/promotions they would like to entertain and when.

    It is clear that mobile advertising and marketing has big potential if industry strives to take into account the user considerations that matter the most. But, which players will dominate and control the ecosystem. Without a doubt, carriers have the purest profile information available, but can they execute their strategies? Well, they have approximately 2-3 year window. Once 3G and Smartphone penetration curves collide and pass 20-30%, if the carriers haven’t built a good mousetrap (value proposition) by then, all bets are off. Different dominant players will start to emerge, as it will get easier for Internet and traditional brands to build direct relationships with a good proportion of the subscriber base. Brands and service providers who are able to integrate user experience across channels will benefit the most.

    Then, there is the whole world of off-net advertising and marketing, where carriers are going to play a lesser role. Here, creative technical and business solutions are needed for accurate targeting. Finally, ads and promotions should be “super-distribution-friendly” meaning — treat ads and promotions like content that can be passed around “easily.”

    While the potential is immense, there are also significant risks and potential challenges before the industry evolves into a vibrant advertising medium. The prominent amongst them are privacy and data security. Once you start mining user data, significant profile information can be developed. Then how that information is used and by whom becomes an issue and a significant legal minefield. In addition, the security policies and procedures need to be in place to protect the data from theft or misuse if the industry doesn’t want regulators to get involved.

    It is quite clear from the industry trends that mobile industry is moving from an emerging state to a more interactive and immersive applications environment. By 2011, global advertising industry will be close to $600B. Can mobile start to increase its revenue share from its current levels of less than 0.2% to 2-5% by then? Since this medium can provide context, immediacy, and personalization, the answer is yes. However, there are technical, business, and legal hurdles to be crossed before the industry becomes a thriving institution. Until then, stay tuned to our commentary on the shifts and turns in the ecosystem.

    Note: An expanded version of this article will be published soon.

    Acknowledgements: My thanks to Sunil Jain, Victor Melfi, Amar Patel, Anne Baker, Sarla Sharma, Shawn Conahan, and Subhadeep Chatterjee for their valuable assistance with this article.

    India net-adds cross 6M mark

    Posted by chetan in : ARPU, BRIC, India, Indian Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

    India might have overtaken China in net adds this month (still need to verify the numbers from China for Sept). During September 2006, 6.07 million wireless subscribers were added while wireline subscribers declined by 0.12 million at the end of September 2006 resulting in net increase of 5.95 million subscribers as compared to almost similar net additions of 5.94 million during August 2006.

    The total subscriber base stands at approx 130M subs, meaning India has already added over 56M subs this year and is likely to double the number from its 2005 levels.

    Sprint - a communications and media company October 11, 2006

    Posted by chetan in : General , add a comment

    Visionary words from Barry West, CTO and President of 4G Mobile Broadband Sprint Nextel

     

    “building a network and an eco-system that point to a future of the Internet anywhere.”

    “We have a vision of being a communications and media company,”

    iballs rule October 9, 2006

    Posted by chetan in : General , 3 comments

    Google buys Youtube for $1.65B (yes that’s a B) in stock. Lesson again is build a subscriber base, rest will follow. One of the important criterion was to shield Youtube from competitors. So, who is next?

    Tellme’s Voice Search Launch

    Posted by chetan in : General , add a comment

    Cingular inked a deal with Tellme Networks for its voice recognition software, which the carrier will use to power an enhanced 411 service to offer Internet-style searches in addition to traditional telephone directory information. The new service will enable Cingular subscribers to ask questions regarding local movie times as well as driving directions. Tellme can deliver the service as either text-to-speech or as an SMS.

    Love the quote from Jeff (Disclaimer: Jeff and I co-authored the text on VoiceXML back in the days)

    “Speaking is faster than typing and looking is faster than listening,” said Jeff Kunins, VP for product management at Tellme.

    Ericsson close to winning yet another multi-billion dollar contract in India

    Posted by chetan in : General , add a comment

    Looks like Ericsson has figured out its way around in Indian Wireless market. Reuters is reporting that

    Swedish telecom major Ericsson told Reuters on Monday it had emerged as the lowest bidder for a multi-billion dollar GSM line contract offered by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., India’s No. 3 mobile services firm.

    Nokia is also likely to get a piece of the action. Siemens, Motorola, and ZTE are the losers.

    Handset growth to slow down? October 5, 2006

    Posted by chetan in : General , add a comment

    Informa says

    The rate of overall worldwide mobile handset growth will slow dramatically beginning next year as saturation in developed markets starts to balance out the booming growth in emerging regions.

    Since the slump in the worldwide handset market at the turn of the century, it has experienced double-digit growth year on year. But according to the analyst firm, that vigorous growth is due to slow down from 2007 onwards. It suggests growth in the market will fall from 15.7% in 2006 to 3% by 2011.

    While it is obvious that growth will slow down, use of the word “dramatically” is to just sensationalize the report. Emerging areas are growing pretty fast and replacement cycles are also shrinking, it will be gradual slow down not dramatic.