Monday, April 25, 2005

Vodafone taps Visto for Email solution

CBR has a new item on the sellection of Visto rather than RIM by Vodafone for there new email service.

Now at the moment a lot of people are very excited by the number of companies that could knock RIM off the number one spot in terms of wireless email. The reason for this excitement is that Microsoft have been showing a number of people its new offering code named Magneto. To get a feel of the people talking about it look at Debi Jones and Guy Kewney who have both been talking about Microsofts plans on their sites.

Why the interest in wireless email?

Is it because as we work just like the memo of our parents day we need something to show that we have been productive with our day and so we send a large number of e-mails to as many as possible to show just how busy we are. Is it that we are no longer comfortable talking with people and so feel a lot better firing off a quick note? Or could it be that we percieve ourselves to be so important that we just must be connected at all times hence the Blackberry and Phone about us all the time?

How would you like to pay?

I have been doing some work on mobile payments. My first experience of Mobile Wallet was not a happy one, a small mono screen, slow connection speeds and complex interface made for a frustrating time. However the Mobile networks are starting to come together on micro payments with the launch of Simpay.

This Summer we will see a service launched in Spain that allows the phone user to make payments for content not just on the mobile phones network but also other peoples websites. They will settle the payment on there phone bill and authorise the payment with a simple pin number. We can expect to see the service in London in time for Christmas shopping.

With the role out of SIMPAY we can expect to see a number of retailers getting excited as they see an opportunity to charge for Papers, Coffee, etc. using a mobile phone and pay a lower charge in terms of transaction fee. The reason is that the mobile network gets money from the text messages sent to authorise and pay the bill, they also want to increase my experience as a 3G customer.

If SIMPAY takes off it will mean that on weekends I can leave the house with just my Keys and Phone. Hopefully within a few years I can use my phone to start the car and open the door of my house but that will take time for another new technology to take off called near field communication.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Remember when...

James Enck has posted a great thumbnail on his early experiences with Orange having found a spacehopper in his shed that was given to him as part of a loyality scheme.

The iten has reminded him that how just a short time ago Mobile was still not mass market and Orange was fun. Happy days! I can remember when Orange had an Imaginear, Prophets and ran Futurology not only were thay agreat brand marketing company they also invested in technology to bring about change quicker. To see what was spoken about before they were owned by France Telecom look at when Kenny Hirschhorn wrote about what he hoped would happen in 2005!

As for me well I have Orange corkscrews, bags, pen knives, watches and a brolly.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Just what's up with Sky?

I have always been a fan of Greg Dyke, today in The Independent's media review he has written another great comment on Why Sky fails compared to HBO in the US.

"We now know that Dawn Airey, the managing director of Sky Networks, is a great fan of Home Box Office (HBO) - the US cable channel responsible for such outstanding dramas as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City and Band of Brothers. We know this because she told us so in her recent, inspiring Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture, which was broadcast on BBC television. But in her lecture, Airey ducked the real question: why hasn't anything remotely similar to HBO emerged from pay television in Britain?

Airey did claim that such programmes were only possible because of the advent of multi-channel subscription television which is, she says, "liberating the creative genius of the programme maker". Well, it certainly has in the US, where, during the past decade or so, HBO has transformed itself from a channel playing movies and big boxing matches into the cable channel smart people have to have - and pay for - because of the quality of its drama production. But that still doesn't answer the question, why hasn't it happened here?"

Mr Dyke goes on to say that whilst Sky has been creative in News & Sport it has not been so in Drama. He argues quite well that this is becuase Sky is the Monopoly broadcasters and as such has not commissioned Drama because of the production costs.

I have to say that whilst we have had some success with Drama here in the UK most is dire rubbish and with the consumer moving away from broadcast to narrow cast it can only mean more reality TV and UK's Top 100 type cheap broadcasting. The real problem is that we have developed a generation that does not watch TV. Look at young people today and they flick from one channel to another faster than us niddle aged folk and see just what it was that flashed before our eyes. My nephew resently stated life was not worth living during a recent outage of his adsl connection, he watched no TV prefering to game online when not playing music in a local band. Because we as parents have placed TV's & Video Games in childrens bedroom we have failed to educate todays youngster how to watch TV. Thus just like the parents who are killing our kids with too much junk food we are killing TV by not showing our kids the benefits of sitting and watching good television. The only problem is just what is good program making?


The US Trade Magazine has another interesting Mobile Phone Report from BBDO; this week they tell us about some research into cultural differences to answering the phone whilst making Love. The bad news is that over one in five Germans and Spanards have stopped making love to take a phone call, if your lover is Italian they are least likely to take the call and a sixth of Americans have stopped making love to take a call on their cell phone.

Now the Advertising agency says that the perpose of the study was to figure how people use there mobile phones and the results show an anxity amount users to missing calls. I find this interesting to some extent as its my experience that some people who have too many calls are more than happy to drop some.

Maybe its because I am a fat old man soon to be forty but I can say that I am most unlikely to take a call on my mobile whilst enjoying some quality time with my partner; the opportunities are few and far between and if I were to take the call in might just means that they would become even fewer!

On the other front an Associate last week did complain that whilst he was trying to make love with his wife he gave up when he saw that she was writing an email on her Blackberry! At the time we just suspected that he was too drunk to perform rather than his wife was suffering from "Communication Anxity" ;-)