Market changers

Market changers

There were two interesting announcements in the last 24 hours that have much wider implications. First, Operator 3 announced flat-rate pricing for data services on its 3G network, probably the first carrier to do that anywhere in the world. The concept is not new, Willcom in Japan has been doing the same on their PHS network but it is a very small player. 3 while being small has much more resources and its feet in many more countries, so the implications for competition are serious. Pricing remains to be seen and of course the execution but their head is in the right place .. This will have a spill over impact on the US market, when not if ..

Hutchison Whampoa Limited today announced the global launch of the X-Series from 3. The X-Series from 3 marks the beginning of the internet via mobile broadband, and heralds a new way of doing business for mobile network operators. It will extend several of the core applications and uses of the broadband internet to the mobile handset, with a new pricing model. The X-Series from 3 will be supported by the leading internet companies, cutting-edge handsets from the world’s leading mobile manufacturers and premium customer service.

Next, Sprint-Microsoft announced their partnership on mobile search. Again it remains to be seen how it is executed. Does Sprint cede control or is it just another app on the deck with Google and Yahoo to come? What does this do the white-label players? Can they survive in this environment?

Microsoft and Sprint have formed a strategic alliance to develop and deliver a range of new services for Sprint’s business and consumer mobile customers, starting with the introduction of Windows Live Search on their cellphones to search location-based content from the Internet, but this is just the beginning.

Sprint and Microsoft will share the revenue from advertisements placed alongside Windows Live search results and the two companies will work together to introduce new mobile phones services in the future.