Fun And Games For Mobile Carriers

Forbes is talking up the potential of wireless gaming to bring in loads of cash for wireless carriers. It’s a nice story, but there are still some issues that need to be resolved. While the technology is certainly in place, the business model question is still wide open. As the article says, everyone agrees that games on mobile phones are pay-to-play. The problem with that (of course) is that if the costs are too high, it acts as disincentive to get people to actually play the game. And, with multiple players all wanting their cut (the game developer, the carrier, technology providers, and others), the prices start to get pushed up. This leaves out, of course, the fact that most wireless carriers don’t even have the infrastructure in place to handle such billing (though, they’re all scrambling to try to set stuff up). Knowing the carriers’ track record so far when it comes to mobile data, I fully expect them to screw this one up a few times before figuring out the proper model.

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