Friday, June 30, 2006

Carnival of the Mobilists 34 is at W2F!

Jan Kuczynski edited this weeks Carnival of the Mobilists and was kind enough to put one of my posts up for Most Favourite Post.

He has done a great job pulling together all the other blogs on mobile so go have a read of what others are saying.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Manners on the move

BBC NEWS has a feature on Five ways mobiles erode etiquette. Aside from clients who feel they are aloud to be late my biggest problem is with peers in the Mobile space who hold executive posts.

A number of friends have become very good with time keeping once they have left corporate jobs to work for themselves. All of a sudden when they have lost the large numbers of co-workers who report to them they are once again able to make that meeting on time. With one friend who is a Partner in a large firm the only way to get him to turn up close to the agreed time is to make sure that you are the first person he sees that day.

I am surprised that the fact that we do not turn phones off when we meet someone is not seen as poor form more than it is.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So just where did you get my number?

I am coming to the end of my contract with Orange and am now bombarded by texts and calls from people telling me so and offering me an upgrade. These claim to be from the "Orange Upgrade Team", when challenged they admit that do not work for the company directly or terminate the call.

The next time I meet Niel Macgeorge (head of Pay Monthly @ Orange) after asking if he has kept his job in the reorganisation is going to be one of data protection. As someone who spends too much on mobile I am a Premier Customer and so can update every nine months. This means that a dealer cannot just use the number range to guess that I am coming up to the end of my contract but must have access to the Orange CRM system who are the only ones with my details as I got my phone direct from Orange.

Whilst I am frustrated at the lack of choice when it comes to upgrading. I have had two 3G handsets from Orange so why would I go backwards and select a non 3G handset? That being the case why is the product range so limited compared to what the rivals offer? What I find more of a concern is that my contract details are available to Orange distributors. These individuals have had there commission structures changed by Orange and Vodafone and so want me to leave and join T-Mobile because thay are paying over £200 for new customers. Do not believe me, just walk into a Phone Shop and see if you can get a contract from Orange or Vodafone.

The economics of the Mobile market are flawed and at present not likely to change. One of the biggest problems is the why in which the customers are signed up. When I first started in Mobile the industry was highly regulated, and Networks were not allowed to own the customer, thus we had a group of Service Providers who sold contracts. This regulation fell away when Four Networks became established and Pay as You Go was launched.

A number of Service Providers were bought up by the Networks and others became retail outlets. Now we have a situation where we have too many retailers and competition has become fierce as the market reaches saturation. The Networks are starting to remove some of the distributors whoes actions are too aggressive, but these people still have there own customer lists who they are prepared to Churn to another Network. The need to keep customer numbers up rather than grow Margins means that the offer of a few thousand new ones is too much to reject.

I just hope that a few of these dealers go bust veru soon so that I can get some time to work rather than deal with unwanted calls offering me a phone I do not want.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nokia, Siemens Plan to Join and Conquer

Businessweek has done a great review on the merge of Nokia and Siemens equipment-making units. The reasoning is that such a merger is needed to build business in the emerging markets of China and India.

I would say that another key driver is that with customers looking to cut costs the removal of one level of complexity would protect the new business. I remember talking to a network CTO about the prospects of the Chinese new entrants , he dismissed them saying that his CEO was looking for the removal of one of the network players rather than buying an additional company. Since that time we have seem Ericsson and Nokia buy market share via outsourcing deals.

I think we can expect the M&A bankers to make more money over the coming months as consolidation sees Nortel, NEC, Motorola and Huawei seeking to grow, it might just force Cisco to do a big deal.