3G Prize Will Go To The First Carrier That Doesn't Screw It Up

Silicon.com is reporting that the “3G prizes will go to the “second movers” in the space, as if there’s a rule why first movers will fail. This is misleading. 3 didn’t fail because of any first mover disadvantage, but because they did an absolutely dreadful job of understanding what customers wanted and giving it to them. Instead, they got so focused on the idea of 3G that they spent all of their time hyping up “3G” and none of it thinking about how someone might actually use such a service. All this article is really saying is that 3 screwed up their rollout (and almost everything they’ve done since then). That’s not a general lesson about first or second movers, but a case study from one company on what not to do. Derek adds: What a lame report from CapGemini! They say that DoCoMo only has 400,000 subs on FOMA, but I reported on this blog back in January that FOMA was up to 1.88 Million subs even then. Also, CapGemini failed to capture the key reason that it’s hard to be the first out of the gate: early deployers of technology infrastructure often pay higher prices for more buggy early equipment, and suffer the need to perform more testing, bug fixing, and seeding of the content and associated services spaces. Of course, it appears that Hutch 3 UK didn’t know this either. Perhaps they were clients of a certain consultancy.

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