Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mobile operators must get mobile broadband strategy right report...

AdaptiveMobile, the leading security provider of mobile subscriber protection for enterprises and individuals, today recommends that mobile operators carefully consider their international mobile broadband strategies.

This follows the European Union's threat to impose legal measures to make operators cut the amount they charge their mobile broadband customers for roaming on overseas networks, which has made some operators consider banning all customers from downloading data through their mobile broadband service while abroad to avoid getting involved in a high profile legal wrangle.

However, AdaptiveMobile argues that operators taking a simplistic view to blocking subscribers' mobile broadband usage while abroad run the risk of losing the significant revenues promised by mobile broadband subscribers willing to pay for a high-quality roaming service.

Gareth Maclachlan, COO of AdaptiveMobile, comments: "Whilst operators understandably don't want to be perceived as trying to unfairly glean excess revenues from unwitting subscribers while abroad, taking a 'one size fits all' approach blocking their usage while abroad will result in them losing very significant revenues, at a time when you would expect them to be looking to maximise their 3G network investments. Even though there is the suggestion that subscribers would be able to lift the block, for a high proportion, this would be too disruptive and operators would never maximise their average revenue per user (ARPU)."

"Operators need to take better control of their network assets, so that they can offer a bespoke service to each user on a case-by-case basis. In this way, they can not only control subscribers' mobile broadband usage in the UK and abroad, but also the type of content that is being delivered over their network to the user, in terms of blocking spam and viruses, and in the case of vulnerable users, inappropriate or intimidating messages and imagery. They should also make steps to better protect roaming users from unnecessary data usage, such as application and operating system updates, which can be upto 500Mb in size and in many cases are downloaded without user knowledge."

Read the full article here...

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Orange offers Eee PC with mobile broadband

Orange has launched a consumer mobile broadband package bundled with the desireable Asus Eee PC 900. £25 a month for the laptop, dongle and 3GB data...

The Connected Laptop package starts at £25 and includes an Asus Eee PC 900 alongside a dongle for mobile broadband access and connection to Orange's Internet Everywhere tariff that offers a data allowance of 3GB and 100 inclusive texts from the laptop. The contract tie-in is 24 months - in line with most laptop-inclusive mobile broadband packages.

Find out more here...

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T-Mobile launches video-on-demand site

T-Mobile has launched a new video-on-demand service, like Apple TV for mobile phones.

Customers can access the Video on Demand Plus service through T-Mobile's 't-zones' portal or its Web 'n' Walk service. Video clips can be watched either on mobile or online and a 15 minute clip costs anything between 50p to £1.50 and longer clips can cost up to £5.

T-Mobile interactive and video manager Sylvia Radacovska said: "Video on Demand Plus is an innovative service which offers customers more value and flexibility to consume their video content across mobile and PC."

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Vodafone to open 50 new stores

Vodafone has announced a multi-million pound investment plan to open 50 new stores, creating 200 new jobs in retail by spring 2009.

The new stores, which will take the numbers of stores to more than 400, will appear in high streets and shopping centres from September, starting with Bristol Cabot Circus and White City London, and Liverpool in October.

All the new stores are expected to follow Vodafone's award design, dividing the store in to zones, including self service for top ups, and a 'pharmacy for phones' where advisors will answer questions on handsets and technology - you can also expect mobile broadband to be a prominent feature.

Vodafone will also be rolling out new scheduling tool in stores, which will calculate how many advisors are needed on a particular day, based on footfall, to help reduce customer waiting times.

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Ofcom reports surge in mobile broadband

Ofcom's annual review, released today, reports that every day in 2007, the average consumer spent 7 hours and 9 minutes watching TV, on the phone, using the internet or using other services. Since 2002, mobile use has doubled and PC and laptop use has grown fourfold.

Key facts:

  • Communications industry revenue topped £51.2bn in 2007

  • Average households spend £93.63 per month on communications services

  • 87.2% have digital television

  • 80% of new TV sales are high-definition sets

  • 40% buy communications services in a bundled package

  • 44% of adults use text messaging every day

  • 36% of adults use the net every day

Source: Ofcom market review

The real surge, though, came in the use of mobile broadband after a big marketing push by mobile phone companies selling mobile broadband "dongles". Between February and June this year, monthly sales rose from 69,000 to 133,000 a month.

According to Ofcom figures, two million people say they have used mobile broadband via a dongle or similar device and three-quarters of them say they use it at home as well as on the move - further evidence that the mobile operators are beginning to compete with fixed-line businesses for broadband customers.

3 Mobile network recently put a figure of over half a million on the number of total dongles it has sold to date, accounting for around 16% of its total subscriber base.

Vodafone reported sales of 3.2 million across Europe by the end of June. While the company doesn't split out regional sales, market sources put U.K. mobile broadband sales to date at close to half a million as well.

T-Mobile has made a concerted push into mobile broadband in the past few months, and reported that its share of total dongle sales in June was around 27%, citing data provided by research firm GfK.

O2 and Orange were not able to provide figures for the number of dongles sold or their market share.

Over 80% of mobile broadband sales cited by Ofcom in the five months to June were on a contract basis, with typical contracts worth around £10 to £20 per month, about half the amount mobile operators get from their handset contract customers. Ofcom projects that if 3 million people in the U.K. took up mobile broadband in the next few years, it could generate around £540 million for the mobile industry.

You can read the full (365 page) Ofcom review here.

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