Tuesday, March 20, 2007



Some mobile services we are presently familiar with are: trivia contests on television tied in with short code submissions, a mix of ringtone offerings that are purportedly “funky fones”(PHCN has deliberately stopped my listening to this ads recently), MTN’s valentine SMS promo, ability to send credits to friends and families on CELTEL networks and many more. On a careful analysis, in the ideal world, there would be four (4) spheres of players on the mobile ecosystem that with cooperation and regulations should be working strategically to make this offerings valued and premium for investors in the wireless telecommunications sector.

I really wonder how many players(stakeholders) are presently really involved?

For sure, with the lag in information delivery between the creators and users of information in our society, a lot is left to be desired.

Like in other countries before now, mobile services were delivered exclusively bundled on the mobile carrier’s technology network. The only information you can find is one that makes sure you work through aggregators designated by the wireless carrier’s preferred business partners.

What is desired, for this media not to suffer the negative initial publicity the Internet received (the Internet still really isn’t part of our culture!), is a reorganization, a re-strategizing of the mode of operation of our mobile carriers to involve more players in the mobile ecosystem, an opening up of their traditional barriers to information sharing with subscribers and other members of the mobile ecosystem and create an environment where every player gets marginal returns for investment.

Some issues that are to be considered are:

1. Pricing, both subscriber charges and prices for bulk SMS.

2. Subscriber uptake. There is no available data on SMS usage from the wireless carriers or a slight indication of willingness to make these available. A newsletter towards this end would much be appreciated. The management staff of our wireless carriers’ services department would do with input from other sectors.

3. Infrastructural economics. Although this can account in a large amount on the revenue share, it must be acknowledged that with economies of scale, these factorial could be reduced.

4. Content providers presence. Proactive engagement of content providers in the country would create a plethora of services that should generate a climatic announcement of the coming of mobile messaging as an alternative marketing media and informational resource.

5. Interoperability. If a standard set of regulations, standards, guidelines and conforming protocols are implemented by our three wireless carriers along with those operating on the CDMA platform for delivery of mobile services, it would do much to increase the integration of every participant in the mobile ecosystem.

There is no time to do it but now. Marginal returns on investment for every participant in the mobile ecosystem and an unbundling of the value chain system would entail:

1. Education and training. Not only for aggregator and wireless carrier’s staff but for everyone: content providers, mobile subscribers, brand owners and marketing agencies etc.

2. Enhancing the relevancy, discoverability of services and making pricing accommodative to subscribers.

3. For lack of concrete information regarding this issue, I’ll hold back every word on revenue formulas. But an adequate and equitable one would attract our budding content providers and marketing agencies to this playing field.

4. An administrative framework for mobile solutions and mobile management that encompasses every stakeholder. A common short code administration-like framework as obtains in America comes to mind.

Some issues presented above are still hypothetical because the author is still gathering information on this ecosystem in our country.

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