Monday, December 18, 2006

So tell me again just why you think non voice is the way forward!

The Times has a report of an IT Specialist who managed to burn his way through £950 in just four days thanks to watching Mobile TV for just two hours on his 3G handset. These two quotes just go to show why I fear that convergence is just a Marketing teams pipe dream.

"Our technology has run away from our tariffs and we are taking action,"
said a spokesman from O2!

"There are about 7m 3G phone users in Britain according to, an online retailer, but only 10% have tariffs allowing for unlimited downloads."

Latest development on Google phone.

The Observer ran a piece on how Google and Orange could soon be getting together to launch a new handset that is based on Google software within an Orange Smartphone. Now the idea is that you will be able to search the web wherever you are!

But guys, I can already do that today on my Orange handset thanks to Opera Mini. What makes Orange think that working with Google they can make it any easier. It is not the case with T-Mobile's Web'n'Walk solution that I have on another phone. In fact it is so poor that I bye pass it and use Opera Mini.

If I was advising Orange I am affraid that I would have to say if you want to get back to the good old days with the Brand invest in Customer Service! What the networks need to do is work on get the number of minutes of use up befoe thinking that they can grab back losed revenues from getting us to surf the web on our mobiles.

Last week I conducted a little experiment with everyone I saw using the same handset as mine. Most of them had the handset for less than two months, none of them were using any data services as they saw them as too expensive. When I asked why the had selected the handset all said because it had a great camera. Asked what they did with the photos they took all said that they stayed on the handset as they were yet to work out the best way to transfer them, but they were not going to use the networks email or mms based solutions as they were too expensive. One did say that her son had uploaded a few picutures to ebay and that they were impressed at the quality.

No if this not very scientific study showed that a number of professionals were happy to have the technology but were not using the technology as they saw it as a rip off then any plan that involves getting people to use data services is flawed. I think that if I were running a mobile network the first thing I would seek to do is build trust with my customers then once they saw thet I was not about to rip them off start to rollout non voice based services. Telling the press and analysts that you have a compelling data service that has done well in trials might be good for short term PR but it does not put money in the bank!

On another note when your brand is tarnished don't expect that you can benefit from the glow of the new Brand darling all that it will do is show how dim your star has become. FT are better off fixing the problems within Orange than looking at how they can make money from getting its customers to watch adverts on their phones.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This year I want....

Dear CEO of my Mobile Network,

It has been a great year and I have bene a very good boy. I have stayed loyal to you and when I did upgrade my handset I did so direct rather than accept the wonderful offers from the Upgrade Centre.

So can I ask for just a few things at this time of year?

Firstly I will like you to spend some of your budget on improving the network coverage for you 3G service. I am starting to get upset by the fact that those around me with the same handset get a better signal on their network when I have no coverage. What is the solution? Could it be that you share basestations in order to overcome planning permission issues. I would be happy to place a pico cell on to my broadband connection at home if that means that my phone works at home and if others want to take advantage for the improved coverage that's fine by me!

Next can I ask that you look at Customer Service within your business, the fact that when I have had to call I end up having to send your EA an email in order to get something makes me think that you are more interested in dumb customers than high spending individuals. When I joined your network you had a reputation for excellent customer service but over the last few years you seem to have given up. Perhaps it is time to once engage engage with those of us that have taken out a contract with you. I am sure that the money invested in changing a few process will pay dividends when it comes to ARPU and if we the customer are spending more you will not have to engage in a cost cutting program.

Finally can you stop trying to control my content when it comes to mobile data? Standing in one of your stores a few months ago the hip geek said that he would install Opera Mini on my device so that I could use my handset just as I do my laptop. I use another software add on so that I can once again send the high quality pictures on my phone to my blog; something that SE thought I would do as I have a 3G handset but you decided to remove when you customised the OS.

What chance that my wishes will come true?

Well lets just say that as I am fat enough to play Santa and in a few more years all the hair on my head will be Grey and so I know the truth about how my three girls get all they ask for on Christmas day.