by Mike Masnick

Reminder To Mobile Operators: You're Competing Against The Regular Internet

from the in-case-you-forgot dept

There's this weird belief in the wireless industry that somehow people will have no problem paying for all sorts of data on their mobile phones. What they seem to forget is that much of that data is available for free on the internet. While, obviously, there will be times when certain data is worth paying for on the go, most users are going to make a quick mental cost-benefit analysis of doing something (at a cost) on a mobile phone, or waiting until they can do stuff for free on a PC. Even in the UK, where we keep hearing how mobile data is so very popular, some are wondering why they would ever buy a pair of shoes from their mobile phone, when they could just as easily do it from home on their PC. What people are forgetting is that the regular internet does compete with the mobile internet -- and unless something is really urgent, it's often going to pay to wait a bit until you can just use a regular computer where you avoid charges, get faster speeds, more comfort and a much bigger screen (and that's not even mentioning the growing ability to access the full, free internet from a mobile phone as well). Mobile operators may be drooling over what they believe is a "locked-in" audience, but that audience is a lot less locked-in than they believe... and that's even without new laws that may ban walled gardens for mobile operators.

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  • identicon
    AZ, 3 Oct 2005 @ 10:15pm

    The Cost

    I think that mobile data plans are way... way.... to expensive. Thats probably the main reason its not popular as it could be. I mean the screen and speed thing could be lived with if it was cheaper I think.

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

    • identicon
      Robert Martin, 4 Oct 2005 @ 3:21am

      Re: The Cost

      I wish I had a VoIP business in San Francisco right about now. WiFi VoIP phones soon to arrive. Unlimited calling for $5 a month would be fair, once the competition gets going.

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

  • identicon
    Khaldoun Nimer, 4 Oct 2005 @ 5:31am

    Content Providers Prefer the Mobile World


    I believe the advantage, the big advantage, of the mobile world is that content and service providers get their money on the user transactions with their content and services.

    Unlike the internet, when those content providers will look around when the ISP is getting everything and shares nothing with them!!

    In the near future, and with the support of DRM, the old days of the internet will come to an end. much much less people will have technical knowledge to hack/crack DRM protected content.

    Anyways, it is a matter of time that the content will migrate from the internet to the mobile-internet. I hope so, as this is much fair for the content/service provider.

    The internet came without a prior thinking of the economics. Mobile world has learned the lesson.

    Thanks for the great contribution.

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

    • identicon
      Anomaly, 4 Oct 2005 @ 6:31am

      Re: Content Providers Prefer the Mobile World

      There is no way anyone will ever want to mess with the tiny toys on the go.it is correct in thinking that the human race is much happyer sitting on its butt.

      "the last person who commented should stop watching Startrek and Thinking thats how the human race is gonna be in the 4000 years." =)

      Hate to let down their hopes of mobile sales,
      you got the wrong race.

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

  • identicon
    Nathanael, 4 Oct 2005 @ 9:50am

    Mobile Internet

    I agree on your main point but what about the mobile users that DON'T have access or own a computer at home or work?

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

  • identicon
    Jose Cortes, 4 Oct 2005 @ 3:48pm

    No Subject Given

    Mobile Internet is not so bad, if you don't mind a water down version to se ina tiny wap browser on you're phone, what is really bad is the prices. Come on 1, 2 or 3 cents for kilobyte? That's should be considered a felony for christ sake. But there's always subscription plans of wich SPRINT is the most fair in price, 15 bucks for unlimited internet in you're phone seems like a bargain when you compare to VERIZON or CINGULAR. CINGULAR charges 20 bucks for 10 megabytes in the Puerto Rico area, can you belive something like that?.

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

  • identicon
    Brian F, 5 Oct 2005 @ 10:36am

    wired internet supported by advertising

    The cost for data transfer packages is completely too high, but that is different than the cost for content, applications, etc. on mobile devices.

    Keep in mind that much of the "free" content available on the internet is not actually free. It is supported by advertising. Now, you may not click on an add at MapQuest or when reading an article on the LA Times site, but some people do. These sites have to pay others (either employees or other companies) for this content and that is done by advertising.

    On the small screens of a mobile phone, it is much more difficult to do that right now. In the future, there will likely be an increase in the mobile content/services supported by advertising, but we will always see people paying for content on mobiles (more than fixed) for the ease.

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

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