>Actually, I don't see much of a market for independent portals in the long
>run . Reason? They will all fold because they can't make money. Don't get me
>wrong, I think it would be great if the more customer focused and Internet
>savvy players can challenge the operators, but I just don't see it happen.
>The operators billing relationship is just too strong, and let's face it,
>without billing relationship, no mirobilling capabilities, no m-commerce or
>content revenues. Bye, bye. Same dilemma as i-mode's unofficial content
Don't get confused by the word "portal"
What I can picture is that
there will be some independent companies offering add on services
like YAC and J2 do today.
YAC's model is based on revenue from premium rate -> caller pays.
J2's model is based on subscription -> called party pays
Prepaid could allow an easy to use hybrid model where you get basics
free via premium rate, but for enhanced service you have to purchase
prepaid credit and might eventually subscribe.
Therefore, there is a billing relationship after all.
however, it is likely that the operators themselves want to get into
this segment and start offering the same services as value added
services. The trend I imagine is that some operators will focus on
network/infrastructure management and others focus on services and
Thereby, the road is open to a two tier structure where a few
infrastructure providers sell capacity wholesale and many service
operators turn that capacity into service packages which they sell
under their brands to end users.
VodaFone and Orange have a strong potential to become those "portals"
but it is also thinkable that Voda goes for network provisioning and
Orange for services.
The billing relationship will be with the service providers and they
will be visible to customers. Who runs the network doesn't matter as
far as the end user is concerned and service providers will not
necessarily be limited to any one network provider. Eventually,
capacity may even be sold in bulk through brokers as a commodity just
like energy is now traded in the UK.
This makes perfectly sense and it has happened in other industries.
There is no reason why it cannot happen with telephony.
In such an environment, service providers have to compete through
their services. They do not have a guarantee that if they ignore
services they can keep those services at bay. A new entrant can
easily offer that service and steal their customers. Besides, if the
service provider isn't limited to a particular network then why
should they refuse to let their customers access their services
through other means of access. The chance is that those other means
of access, like for example VoIP over a public WLAN can help the
service provider to reduce cost and increase their coverage.
I agree with you however, that it is rather unlikely that the top
mobile players will stay out of this and watch some newbie upstart
take over their market. For this to happen the entire industry would
have to sleep for quite some time and be unaware of what's going on.
Instead they are likely to embrace the trend and use it. Early movers
to gain competitive advantage, others to stay competitive.
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Received on Wed Aug 15 13:23:01 2001