3GSM Update: The Two Worst Show Tchotzkes

OK, so here’s the worst two giveaways I’ve seen at the 3GSM show. Spanish wireless carrier Amena has crews of young folk walking around giving out thick little booklets. The booklet is full of pages with nothing more than a picture of a clock, but if you flip the pages really fast, it looks like a clock with the hand moving through the day’s hours. The message – something like “time for Amena”. Ugh. Time to get a gimmick that doesn’t weigh half a pound and kill a tree. I don’t even know why carriers would invest in a large exhibit at this show – they are the customers, not the exhibitors. Meanwhile, a company called Ki-bi has a silly little electronic device the size of a credit card. The card is supposed to simplify the distribution of off-portal wireless content – in this case, content about the 3GSM show and local attractions in Barcelona. So how does it work? Well, there are about six buttons on the card for different content types, and all you have to do is this (stick with me): dial a local phone number, listen for a prompt, hold the Ki-bi card to the phone’s mic, press the related card button, let the modem-like tones play into the phone, hang up, wait for an SMS, click the link in the SMS to go to the WAP page, accept the download offered at that WAP page (J2ME), download into your phone, find the download, and Bob’s your uncle. There are 50,000 people at the show. I’d like to know if more than 3 make it through that process. Off portal is a growing market, but I don’t get the advantage of the Ki-Bi card over IVR or plain URLs.

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