Global Wireless Data Market Update 2006 April 29, 2007

Posted by chetan in : 3G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,Gaming,Indian Wireless Market,Intellectual Property,Japan Wireless Market,Middleware,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,MVNO,Networks,Speaking Engagements,Strategy,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

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In 2006, mobile data industry grew across every geography. From the true and trusted SMS messaging to new services such as Mobile TV, LBS, and others, different services helped in adding billions to the revenues generated for the year. Japan and Korea remain the envy of the global markets and the countries to study and learn from. The US market has been steadily making strong comeback and is soon going to become the biggest mobile data revenue generating market in the world. Chetan Sharma Consulting conducted its bi-annual study of the global mobile data industry. We took a look at wireless data trends in over 40 major countries – from developed and mature markets such as Japan, Korea, UK, and France to high-growth markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia. The study also took a detailed look at over 30 prominent operators. This note summarizes the findings from the research.

Your comments are always welcome.

Chetan Sharma

Mobile Advertising Book: Interviews April 28, 2007

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Have been busy talking to experts in the field. Last week was Microsoft, Qualcomm, and some VCs who have invested in the space and are evaluating companies actively. Next week it is Ogilvy, Enpocket, and AdInfuse. It is great to validate some of our themes and observations as well as learn new things and perspectives.

WCG 2007 in Seattle April 26, 2007

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

The Olympics of video games is coming to Seattle this year. Yesterday, my good friend Ike Lee hosted the reception for the organizing committee of World Cyber Games 2007 at his palatial mansion. Ike is the honorary chair for the event.

Korea, Germany, and US are top teams and the world of video games will have its eyes focused on Seattle come Oct. Stay tuned.

Mobile Advertising Book: First chapter done April 24, 2007

Posted by chetan in : 3G,AORTA,ARPU,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,Intellectual Property,Japan Wireless Market,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments

Phew! Things are getting into motion. Wrapped up my first chapter that deals with the overview of the wireless data industry worldwide, looking at stats and trends, and specific regional issues and trends. The DRAFT TOC is

Global Wireless Markets Overview

  • What’s driving data growth?
  • Review of major markets
  • The arrival of an AORTA Era
  • Key Takeaways
  • Would love to hear what you would like to see in this chapter, any suggestions or thoughts are much appreciated. Have also lined up some really great interviews over the course of next few months starting this week. Have dug deep into Mobile TV advertising models and the trends out of Japan and Korea. Will be reporting bits and pieces as time goes along.

    AT&T posts mobile data gains

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    Top 100 Most Powerful Brands April 23, 2007

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    Google tops the list of the top 100 most powerful brands in the world with brand value of $66.4B ahead of GE and Microsoft. 11 wireless companies (where substantial part of their business is wireless) are in the mix – China Mobile at number 5 tops the list along with Nokia, Vodafone, DoCoMo, Verizon, Samsung, Motorola, Orange, Cingular (AT&T Wireless), Siemens, and T-Mobile.

    Proud to say 9% of the top 100 brands are our clients.


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    How fast can you punch this on your mobile device. Can you do it in 15 second? No, you are getting old, aren’t you?

    13 year old Morgan Pozgar won the LG national texting championship for $25K.

    Now, how about the contest of finding content on the device?

    Carnival over at Mobile Opportunity

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    Michael Mace hosts this week’s carnival. As usual, great set of posts. Be sure to check them out. Thanks Michael

    Fierce 15 winners

    Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

    Some are obvious, others are not ..

    Mobile Advertising Panel Roundup April 19, 2007

    Posted by chetan in : AORTA,ARPU,Carriers,CTIA,Indian Wireless Market,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,Smart Phones,Speaking Engagements,Speech Recognition,Strategy,Unified Messaging,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 8 comments

    Yesterday, I had the distinct honor to present and moderate a PAN-IIT event on “Mobile Advertising – Technical Challenges and Business Opportunities” at Google’s Kirkland offices.

    I will get into the panel discussion in a minute. First, would like to join everyone in paying our sincerest condolences and prayers to the families of Prof. G.V.Loganathan and rest of the folks who were lost in the tragic Virginia-Tech incident. Prof. Loganathan was a fellow IIT alum and colleague and friend of many in the community.

    Mobile Advertising Panel Discussion

    Our illustrious panel included:

    (Bios here)

    Decades of experience in Mobile, Internet, and Advertising.

    I started the discussion by giving a broad overview of the mobile advertising industry and some of the things that we should be thinking about. In random order, they are:

    Mobile Advertising means different things to different people: Depending on a company’s focus, mobile advertising means different things to different companies. There are over a dozen different channels or strategies at our disposal in this framework, for instance –

    No one provider offers capabilities across a majority of them, you could argue that there is no need but from an advertiser’s perspective, the situation demands aggregation and simplicity.

    Forecasts: I put up a graphic that included the US mobile advertising forecasts from several leading analysts and asked the audience to guess the timeframe for the same. The original figure is below –

    (Source: eMarketer, 2001)

    This is a reminder that a) it is hard to forecast when you are starting from zero and b) we should learn our lessons from history. 2006/7 forecasts stand at

    (Source: eMarketer, 2006)

    (Data Source: Informa, 2006)

     (Data Source: ABI Research, 2007)

    It is not a question of whether these forecasts will prove to be accurate in 4-5 years time, but what will it take to make these forecasts real. Can we learn from the last time around and apply the lessons to this cycle?

    Japanese Mobile Advertising market: Clearly, Japan has had more experience with Mobile Advertising than rest of the markets. In 2006, the average revenue/user/year stood at around $4. For US, this figure was less than $1.

    Mobile Advertising value chains: As I mentioned above, mobile advertising means different things to different people and hence there are different value chains in place though they are merging rapidly.

    Measurement: It is critical for the success of the industry to have measurement tools in place. I discussed Ogilvy’s Lenova campaign that generated 188% lift in brand awareness and 156% lift in product recall.

    Mobile Advertising Framework: Finally, I presented my view of the technical advertising framework that is needed to make the experience work for the user

    Panel Discussion

    We had a packed house and a very engaged audience. We had influential engineers, VCs, biz dev, mobile enthusiasts in the mix. I asked the panelists to summarize their view of the Mobile Advertising space and what they saw as some of the challenges going in. (paraphrasing of their comments is mine)

    Everyone was bullish on the segment, however they cautioned that it will take time, as the “reach” is not there yet. Jai mentioned the oft-quoted 15% penetration for browsing in the US as a limitation of “reach”. Kosar discussed Google’s initiatives in Japan where they are doing a lot of testing to hone in on the “user experience”. Victor talked about the challenges of “user interface” and that voice represents a good solution to cut through the archaic menu hierarchy to find things. He is not worried about the supply and demand but the brokerage in the middle. Brendan talked about the “ecosystem friction” wherein we have too many players for advertisers to deal with and an aggregated or simplified view is needed for the advertisers to jump in with both feet. Coming from the broadcast and Internet marketing background at TW/AOL, Brendan thought measurement authority like Nielsen is a must.

    Kosar described the concept of “signals” that Google uses to discern “intent” and how mobile presents a great experimentation field to test some search techniques and algorithms that can also be applied to online search at a later date. The reason being low threshold for wrong results on mobile.

    On the question of targeting, Brendan and Jai mentioned the use of demographic data available from the carrier to make search results (and advertising) better. Kosar said that Google’s focus is on tailoring experiences for device capabilities and cannot always rely on user preferences on mobile devices since they are not always available. They want to make sure an ad shows up where user expects it to show up. Google is concerned for both the user and the advertiser. Victor used to the run probably the biggest direct marketing research org in the world at Reader’s Digest and he thought that the targeting is actually much easier in mobile due “declared intent”.

    There was some discussion on the meaning of mobile advertising and how promotions and marketing are part of the same mix. Jai said that recommendation is another form of advertising which appears non-intrusive and is actually useful for the consumers. Amazon gets a good chunk of their revenues from recommendation clicks. I myself find them quite useful and end up buying dozens of books this way every year.

    Victor thought that the “promotions” piece (tied to local search) is actually going to be a much more lucrative business than the banner ads or even media search related advertising.

    Kosar reiterated Google’s philosophy – “focus on the best products and experiences, and monetization opportunities will emerge naturally both for users and advertisers”.

    There was active participation from the audience as well.

    Katie Thompson from Trilogy (a prominent VC firm in PNW) wondered about the ad saturation levels we might be reaching and how do we address that and if agencies are worried about that aspect.

    Mohan Venkataramana, President of IITPNW chapter and a veteran in the industry saw history repeating itself w.r.t. advertisements and evolution of the mobile industry.

    There was general agreement that industry needs to focus on user’s needs  rather than CPC and CPMs at this stage in the game. And that user privacy issues should stay at the forefront.

    Another one lamented that first the carriers need to fix the voice quality, reduce data rate plans, and make things usable before consumers are going to tolerate ads.

    Someone narrowed things down to two key aspects a) location and b) relevant targeting.

    There were questions about the Japanese market and if it is different from the US and if that’s the reason advertising will take longer in the US. A lot of people misunderstand the Japanese (and Korean) market. I was advisor to the senior management team of NTT DoCoMo when they were active in the US and we used to laugh about the misconceptions and the myths that perpetuated in the US market. We dealt with this issue in quite a bit of detail in our previous book (co-authored with Dr. Nakamura, SVP, DoCoMo).

    We could have gone on for the rest of the night but had to wrap things up. Mobile Advertising is a broad topic and it is hard to cover all aspects of it in 90 minutes, but touched on quite a number of items and honed in on a couple.

    Thanks to our hosts Google for space and food, the panelists for an illuminating evening and spirited discussion, and the participants for making it a lively exchange.

    Industrial Espionage Tool April 18, 2007

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    Corporate data slips out via Google Calendar. Privacy! What Privacy? 🙂

    Qualcomm buys assets from WiMAX company April 17, 2007

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    Signs of the times

    Eric Schmidt on Mobile

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    At Web2.0 expo,

    Battelle: What do you see as the web’s biggest growth areas?

    Schmidt: “Mobile, mobile, mobile — it’s probably the most wide open space out there right now. Also, local. Most search companies don’t take advantage of the local data inherent in the web.”

    Full coverage at Wired

    Mobile Advertising Panel

    Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

    I am prepping for the mobile advertising panel tomorrow that involves

    Brendan Benzing – Infospace

    Jai Jaisimha – Medio Systems

    Kosar Jaff – Google, and

    Victor Melfi – VoiceBox

    I am looking forward to it. If you would like to ask any specific question(s) (or broad for that matter), please let me know. I will do a summary of things discussed later this week.

    This week’s carnival at Mobile Marketing & Spam April 16, 2007

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    Troy at MMS provides a good summary of great posts from around the world.

    Google/Doubleclick – Sour Grapes? April 15, 2007

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    Microsoft said yesterday that Google’s proposed purchase of Internet advertising company DoubleClick raises antitrust and privacy concerns that deserve careful review by authorities. Executives at the software giant said they talked over the weekend with AT&T, AOL and Yahoo about similar concerns.

    It is surprising that Microsoft let Google have Doubleclick. It is hard discern the strategy behind this move.

    Google grabs Doubleclick for $3.1B April 13, 2007

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    Microsoft, your turn.

    Vodafone in talks to offer advertising on mobiles

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    Financial Times is reporting that Vodafone is planning to offer companies the chance to direct pan-European advertising campaigns at its mobile customers by the end of the year.

    The world’s largest mobile group by revenue said yesterday that it was in talks with a soft drinks company and a carmaker that could result in pan-European campaigns by the end of 2007 or early 2008

    Mobile Advertising – A contrarian view

    Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising , 6 comments

    Enders Analysis noted in their research today:

    · Mobile advertising has recently been talked up by both mobile operators and media companies, with some analysts estimating that it could be worth more than $11 billion by 2011, or over one third of the current internet advertising market

    · The reality, however, is that the current market is very small (c.€100 million globally), with even this supported heavily by experimental campaigns, and it cannot grow significantly without mobile browsing increasing dramatically, whereas adoption is currently stable or even shrinking in some markets

    · The economics of advertising generally depend on a mass market of consumers spending hours a day viewing or listening to a medium, not occasional usage by a hard-core group of techies, and unless the mobile internet can be brought to the masses mobile advertising will remain very niche

    Speaking at Zino Society Events

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    ZINO Society is focused on connecting entrepreneurs with accredited investors, cultivating camaraderie in the world of wine and business, and facilitating insider wine trips, tours and special event opportunities.

    May 16th – I will be speaking on “Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in Wireless”

    Oct 2nd – I will be giving a class on “Intellectual Property” to a group of entrepreneurs.