by Mike Masnick

Mobile Operators Give Up On Useful Services To Focus On Breaking Other Services

from the something-doesn't-seem-right-here dept

Sometimes you just have to wonder what goes through the minds of execs at mobile operators. While they focus on things like video calls and home theater systems for mobile phones (things that don't appear to have much demand or... honestly, reasons for use), they're already throwing in the towel on location based services, with some saying that "there are no compelling applications for consumers." Perhaps that's because they're coming up with lame location based offerings like "find a friend." Location-based technology is just reaching the stage where it's really viable, and it's one of the features that really takes advantage of the fact that the mobile phone user is mobile. All these other things the operators are working on just try to take an idea from somewhere else and put it on a mobile phone. Location-based services, however, open up possibilities of doing things that simply couldn't be done before -- and that's where the opportunities in technology almost always lie. Of course, at the same time, a bunch of mobile operators are freaking out about Google, worrying that people are just going to go to Google to find their mobile content, thereby bypassing the operators' walled gardens and (most importantly) tollbooths. This isn't true for all operators, obviously, but then you hear someone from a mobile carrier actually say: "Carriers hate accurate search. Then you just end up at the content." It makes you realize just how far out of touch some of these operators really are. Meanwhile, of course, one of the things that users are likely to look to Google for is more useful, timely and accurate local information. So, these operators are giving up on one service that's a real differentiator and then trying to break or block another service that would actually be useful to subscribers... and they wonder why people don't care about data on their phones.

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  • identicon
    cro, 29 Sep 2005 @ 12:09pm

    Location Based Services

    Carriers are dropping LBS because no-one is using them - with bloody good reason - they're too expensive. I have several LBS-based concepts I want to egt up and running - subscription-based services, real-world MMORPGs and much much more, but frankly I can't make any money on a business model for a game where *EVERY MOVE A PLAYER MAKES* will cost them 25p or 50p.

    To make an LBS game work, you have to remove the stupidly high cost per access. If I can give unrestricted access to the LBS network to my players for 10 or 15 a month, then people will play. But 10 or 15 translates into only 20 moves a month - the game needs 20 moves per *day*.

    The single biggest barrier to LBS services actually being even a little bit useFUL as opposed to overpriced and useLESS, is the carriers themselves.

    Here's a challenge to the mobile carriers: drop the access price for LBS services and maybe, just maybe, people will actually start using them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mousky, 29 Sep 2005 @ 12:55pm

    Better coverage might be a good start

    I would be happy if my carrier improved it's coverage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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