Mobile users will use almost any kind of media content on their phones, but they won't pay a premium for it.
Operators should view mobile content as a way to reduce churn rather than as a new revenue stream, according to a worldwide survey from accountants KPMG. Forty per cent of those questioned said they would not pay a premium for mobile content.
KUDOs to John for keeping his ear to the ground for wireless communications trends and articles.
A trade magazine discussed "mobile TV" last summer and presented two very opposite views.
One side observed that watching TV is a "sit down experience" not very adaptable to walking down the sidewalk, much less while driving. And could you really enjoy watching a 1"x1½" screen?
The other side touted it as the next killer app for cellular and as the article mentioned, with the same fevor that you heard in the time before the intenet bubble burst. It was obvious the guy pitching this new concept was using "talking points" and "power terms" similar to a snake oil salesman.
I noticed in the article that John referenced, it was European trials. In Europe, as well as many Pacific rim countries, text messaging is far less expensive than voice calls compared to the current pricing structure of cellular calls in the U.S. that average well under 10 cents a minute. That along with the European use of "called party pays" illustrates the Europeans have a different mindset to cellular usage.
The per minute rates in Europe, with CPP, are far higher than what we pay in the U.S..
It is counter-intuitive that SMS is so expensive in the U.S..
It's kind of amusing that a survey had to be done to find out that mobile users are not willing to pay for premium content. You'd think that the carriers could figure this out based on their falling ARPUs. The premium content gets old really fast, especially when the bill comes the first time.
IMO, in this country, people always want "something for nothing". We have "free" long distance, "free" nights and weekends, "free" roaming, "free" mobile to mobile and "free" phones. Now we tell the customer that he needs to pay as much for the extras as he's already paying for his voice plan..."It costs what!?"
Cingular's mantra these days (with their dealers) is "sell features." Does anybody want to watch a 10 minute trailer of their favorite television show on a 2" diagonal screen? I know the technology works, but does the mass market want it, or more to the point, are they willing to pay for it?
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While I likewise prefer my laptop (notebook) computer for many things, my phone is better for other things, particularly since I don't always have my computer with me. Things which work well on my phone include:
Google Mobile personalized (email, weather, news, movies)
Google Local for Mobile (maps, businesses, and directions)
Well, I'd really like my phone to replace my Palm. I don't want "content" but I really want to keep my calendar and address book on it - and be able to sync with a PC (which some phones will do, but not mine). I certainly don't want any media content from the phone company, though.
OK, didn't think of that. I understood Squeegee's "restrictions" to include security measures that would block access to his own LAN. If I misunderstood, well, it's not the first time. And won't be the last. :-)
This is the automobile that includes a snow plow and trailer as standard. Very useful, but might get in the way. I found that out the hard way when I plugged a 512MByte SD card into a Sony Clie PDA and played a rather long video clip over and over until the battery died. 15 minutes and it was dead. I suspect cell phones will be similar (or worse).
Translation: Anyone that actually pays for mobile video will need to solve some technical problems.
Yep. It's the traditional battle between selling bandwidth and selling content. The TV and CATV content providers have always considered it more profitable to force feed packaged content to the users than to allow them to choose their own entertainment. With packaged content, one can add commercials and guarantee that the user is force to slog through them to get to whatever they are watching. It's not internet access. It's "interactive video". Sigh.
In my never humble opinion, the cell phone is just a communications device. It can talk audio or data and communicate with other devices with Bluetooth or 802.11. My ideal cell phone is NOT a conglomerated monstrosity that does iTunes, video, GPS, PDA functions, camera, and game console. It can do all those, but the results are invariably a compromise. The benifits of conglomeration are often negated by the compromises necessary just to make everything work in one package and on one small screen.
Methinks integrated video is such a compromise. Small screen, short battery life, limited memory, DRM, slow delivery, and price of necessary air time, will make video a wasted effort. Maybe for short video clips from the built in camera turned video recorder, but nothing that will justify advertising content and revenue.
The right answer (for me) is a modular system that includes the cell phone. My oversized PDA would have a keyboard that I can actually use to type instead of peck at the screen. The screen would be big enough to see the subtitles. I would also have a screen and keyboard imbedded in my vehicle dashboard. My cell phone would be just a handset. Everything would communicate with UWB (wireless USB),
802.11, Bluegoof, or whatever is in fashion at the time. Transfer of data would be extensible making this wearable network part of my home or office network automatically. Replication of the address book is seamless. If the phone can't find someones number, it checks the PDA, which then checks the vehicle server, which then checks the cellular directory, which then checks the internet directory servers. One lookup for everything.
Video would be an easy fit into this puzzle as a cellular video phone. Transmission would not be full motion video but animated avatars and characters where the only data being transfered are the motions and talking head instructions. Etc (I'm late...)
Science fiction? Nope. All it would require is a concerted initiative by the various players to decide how it all should work. Chances of that happening are slim. Cellular nervana will have to wait.
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Not necessarily -- ads underwrite much of the Internet, and might well underwrite mobile content as well.
My Motorola V551 does quite a bit better than that -- even with steady use of multimedia I still get a few hours of battery life.
That's more bulk and complexity than I'm prepared to deal with. I prefer to just carry a high-end cell phone that can do all the essential tasks. (If and when I need more, I'll tether a full notebook computer.) The current Motorola V360 does that pretty well now. An HSDPA version, or something like the Motorola V1150/V3X, would be even better.
The carriers have to decide whether to go after the mass market, or just sell a lot less at higher prices.
SBC decided to move DSL into the mass market, and accept a falling ARPU. At some point, the wireless carriers may decide that it's more profitable to sell higher volumes of premium content at lower margins. Everytime someone signs up for inclusive premium content at the high price, it helps to delay when the carriers decide to drop their pants on price.
Some restaurants have tried selling wine for non-gouge prices in the hopes of increasing their volume enough to make up for the customers that would buy wine regardless of the price. I don't know how these restaurants did with this experiment. The thought was to sell wine at 2x the retail price, rather than 3x to 5x.
Yep. If I were paying for measured rate bandwidth (i.e. airtime), then having my content delivered with advertisements might be perceived that the user was paying for delivering the advertising. A solution might be to give the users the option of getting advertising at a lower rate, or paying more for advertising free content.
As for paying for the internet, judging by the predominance of file sharing programs occupying much of the bandwidth, the internet is being paid for by stolen content, copyright violations, and pornography. Whether the cell phone market can handle such mainstream internet content is questionable.
I'm not familiar with the V551. (I'm on Verizon, not Cingular). Note that the Sony Clie has a much larger screen than the V551 and is several years older technology. I don't recall if the file was AVI or MOV but I recall that the Clie was getting noticeably warm after about
5 minutes of playing. I'll conceed that it can be done on modern phones without killing the battery. However, it would be interesting to run a test of how many minutes of video can be played before killing the battery.
I found no numbers in any of the reviews or on the official data sheet:
There's no bulk. You only carry the phone. Think of it like a TV remote control for the other gadgets. When you wanna watch your multimedia content, just drag out the viewer and watch the show. When done, stuff it back where it hides.
Disigning a user interface that is both handles all the possible modes and functions, while at the same time is useful, is a major challenge. I have some experience doing that for mobile radios and have a few ideas about how it may be done. A minor problem will be managing the storage and controlling the movie display. The phone might end up looking like a Tivo remote control with a mic and earphone. Not a great idea and probably useless. Yet, all the functions need to be there. I think the complexity can be reduced sufficiently, but there will be some oddities. For example, want buttons on both sides of your cell phone?
I agree and that's also my vision of my current cell phone requirements. However, the discussion was about multimedia content delivered to a cell phone. If this is going to be the next big thing, some thought should go into how the multimedia cell phone of the future will look and act. Perhaps you might not like my vision of such a phone, but there may be some potential customers that are willing to pay for such a service.
Incidentally, my only use of the internet from my cell phone is at
14Kbits/sec for a WAP browser doing directory lookups. If I want access, I'll do it via Wi-Fi (because it's cheaper).
I think it's ridiculous that I have Laptop Connect Unlimited (with a Sony Ericcson PC card) which I use frequently to download a fairly large amount of data, yet I have to pay extra if I want to use the WAP browser in my cell phone to download a limited amount of data. I used to be with Nextel and I was using their Packetstream Gold unlimited data plan while tethering my cell phone. In the beginning I had to pay an extra $10/month to use the WAP browser on the cell phone. Several months later Nextel changed the requirements so that Packetstream Gold users had unlimited WAP browser use as well for no additional charge. This made a lot more sense to me.
I think that as a Laptop Connect Unlimited user, I should be able to use my WAP browser in my cell phone for no additional charge. AFAIK, since this is not the case, I do not use the WAP browser in my cell phone except for extremely limited use. The same goes for SMS messages. I would use this feature if I did not have to pay the current rate. As it is, I have only used it a couple of times in the past year. Again my point is, I do not want to pay extra for data services on my cell phone when I already have an unlimited data plan with the PC card. I'll take the inconvenience instead.
If anyone is wondering why I pay for Laptop Connect unlimited - it's because I work for weeks at a time on the water. If I want internet service, an unlimited data plan is my only practical choice. I do like my internet, so I am willing to pay for it. I use the internet for personal business, news, and information, as well as for entertainment.
In article , email@example.com (known to some as Wolf Kirchmeir) scribed...
Only in the sense that the basic connection to ANY open WiFi access point is insecure by its very nature.
Read my post again. I'm using VPN over wireless while on the road. VPN traffic is heavily encrypted by its very nature. In my case, the client software I use is provided to work specifically with our hardware firewall/router. It implements IPSec with 3DES encryption, though PPTP is another popular protocol.
Properly-implemented VPN makes it nearly as safe to use as if you were still hardwired to your office network. If you're curious about it, here's a handy link.
In article , firstname.lastname@example.org (known to some as John Navas) scribed...
Quite true. Some open networks, for whatever reason, do not permit VPN traffic to go through. In most cases I've found of such, it was simply misconfiguration of the access point involved, in that the owners of it were unaware that they needed to actually tell the thing 'allow traffic on port x to go through.'
No evil plots, no conspiracy to extract a premium for allowing VPN to go through. Just plain ignorance.