(keitai-l) Re: i-mode subscribers numbers Q1 2003

From: Mark Frieser <mark_at_consect.com>
Date: 05/12/03
Message-ID: <BAE51D44.44291%[email protected]>

To begin, I reported on the Minitel as an Editor in France for approximately
4 years - 1990-1994 - so I would ask you to please indulge me if I express
my opinion about this subject as a person who may have some level of
significant knowledge on this subject.

Moreover, I my company and I have worked constantly in the French content
and telecommunications markets since then.

So, if I say something about the French market, its not just an "opinion"
but an analysis based on deep background and understanding.

Thank you however for your value of what I have to say.  I find that


And I value you opinions on the Japanese market. (you're entitled to them


For those of you who may find some value in what I have to say about the
French market, please read on.

My company works intimately with companies who are directly involved in the
development of content and services for imode in France and across Europe,
and frankly, in the final analysis, Minitel has nothing whatsoever to do
with any success/failure of imode.

In fact, most of the figures for wireless data service ARPU in France are
lower than that in the UK or Germany.  The reason for this may be pricing,
and a lack of aggressive promotion of services.

And though the Minitel may be seen as a potential trigger for wireless data
services, the fact is, all indicators point to this not being the case at
all. Whether it is a detriment to the use of wireless data services in
general is somewhat doubtful in my opinion.

But getting back to imode.  Simply put, from my discussions with people at
DoCoMo and other companies, and from general observation, its my conclusion
that the success/failure of imode in European countries has to do with the
implementation of imode and the relative market success of the wireless
carrier implementing and launching it.

Eplus, which has a somewhat mixed reputation in the market, and even KPN to
some degree, have not done the best job of launching imode in a manner which
made it a success in Japan.  Much of the time, it has been made to conform
to the thoughts of corporate management of various companies, who have
perhaps taken pieces of imode and discarded what made it successful ion the
first place (e.g., simplicity in development, good pricing, preferential
deals to the content developer).

In effect, some of the telecoms have replicated the mistakes they made with
WAP, and this is reflected in their poor showing in imode usage and offering

Bouygues avoided many of these pitfalls.  They have gone to pains to give
the content developers the full benefits of the imode model and platform,
which has resulted in far better service quality.  Moreover, Bouygues has
gone to pains to educate the consumer on the benefits of imode and has
promoted the service (3 euros per month introductory rate for access) and
the compatible handsets (e.g., a top level imode phone for 99 euros).

At the end of the day, the reason why Bouygues has succeeded so far is
because they have actually worked hard to get quality content out there with
the service.  They actually listened to Natsuno's team and enabled the
content owners and produced worthwhile services as a result.

This is why they have won.  The Minitel is irrelevant to this.


On 5/12/03 8:38, "Juergen Specht" <js@nooper.com> wrote:

>> You know, most of the reason that imode is so much more successful has
>> nothing to do with he minitel, but on solid work done by content owners and
>> Bouygues to get it right.
>> That's my view, anyway..
> It's always good to have an opinion :) (and I value it).
> But as old fashioned Minitel now sounds, it created a foundation
> for acceptance of these convenient online services.
> I remember visiting a friend in Paris sometimes in the 80ties (?)
> and he impressed me pretty much that he checked the cinema program,
> reserved some seats in a restaurant etc, just by clicking some
> buttons. Using Minitel was just "normal" for everybody.
> So I always thought that France is the country where the acceptance
> will be greater than in Germany.
> I follow some online discussions about i-mode in Germany and there are
> some supporters (who all miss some kind interconnectivity in one way
> or the other with their non i-mode friends) and some people who just
> hate i-mode. This goes all the way up to call it a "rice cooker
> service" and worse.
> Anyway, I would like to hear the opinion of a French person living
> in France and preferable not working for Bouygues about the perception
> of i-mode users and if (just if) they see any relation to good ol'
> Minitel.
> Thanks in advance,
> Juergen

Mark Frieser
+1 917 855 2669

Join 300 High Level Wireless Executives for a day of networking, case
studies and technology solutions at the Global Wireless Summit, New York on
May 22, 2003.

For more information on attending and sponsorship, visit our website at
Received on Mon May 12 16:45:45 2003