Monday, March 12, 2007



After going through the websites of our wireless carriers, only Celtel has a defined section for content providers, Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPs) and bulk SMS services. Will somebody prove me wrong, please?

But noticeably, there was no indication of the type of campaigns currently being promoted or “carried” by this wireless carrier. Where content providers do not interface directly with wireless carriers, so much potential points of conflict for rights and licensing agreements made with WASPs could be avoided if the carriers dedicate a site to campaigns currently running on their networks.

It goes without gainsaying that although these faceless aspect of the mobile ecosystem are dispersed, they are invaluable.

Celtel has a clause that states that they share 50% of the revenue with any registered WASP doing business with them. That figure does make some skin eruptions appear on me, but apparently non-existent, is a total non-reference to the rights and copyright issues for material named “content!” such as is found in all other media: television, radio, films, internet etc.

Particularly striking is the question: if I do a one-off business with Celtel and after my contract expires they implement the intellectual aspects of my content, do I have the right to claim REVENUE! Even if I only receive 50% as a WASP of revenue or 10% as a content provider with a WASP providing me service to Celtel’s subscribers?

Another is: if content is termed age restricted by the wireless carrier against the content provider’s non-stipulation after a campaign has taken off, who bears the cost of lost revenue for discounted subscribers or subscribers restricted from mobile content?

Age restrictions and assessment procedures might in the future follow that of Nollywood, but that is yet to be seen. One can find guidelined principles though on Celtel’s WASP document and that of the mobile marketing association.

Celtel did not state how revenue share would be divided if content is part of a content bundle. For example if I launch a shortcode campaign that integrates a trivia contest along with subscription to a ringtone service, if Celtel bills both services differently, which they reasonably would, would the content provider be paid differently or as per the bundle? An undiscerning content provider might not realize the connection between the two, especially if his campaign is an initiative which Celtel considers premium and decides to integrate it with a standard one.

As for the revenue sharing percentages quoted by Celtel, I really do not know the rationale for that, whether it was agreed upon amongst the respective operators in Nigeria or a unilateral decision and if any of the two, with the duressed or non-duressed agreement of WASPs and content providers with their hands tied by forces they don’t understand?

It’s a topic for further deliberation.

No comments: