Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Want to see what Mobile Money is all about?

So the GSMA sent me an email this morning asking if I wanted to attend a two day conference on mobile money in Egypt. Out of professional interest I looked at the web site for the event and discover that I cannot see who is speaking, they have no Sponsors or Exhibitors and so it looks like a work in progress. The only problem in that the event is some two months away and so if this was a professional conference everything would have been in place.

This sums up the whole get rich quick mentality of the GSMA when it comes to mobile payments. Rather than look at the ecosystem for Mobile Banking and debate the need for joined up thinking the GSMA have decided to host a two day demonstration on why they have the magic box that will see everyone bank on their mobile. The GSMA solution is to develop a whole new approach rather than look at the banking sector and say how can we move customers from branches and atm's on to handsets? At this moment the consumer and Banks need to understand the functionality and features needed fot payments.

What we have from the GSMA is the movement of Remitances onto mobiles. Now ask youself if what you want is the ability to pay the window cleaner by text message rather than cheque rather than send hundreds of pounds to a relative overseas phone to phone.

I understand that the project manager for this has moved on from the GSMA. Perhaps they can now kill the assignment and accept that the fees paid to consultants proved that they have little chance to make money selling something that no one needs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mobile turns full circle

A few years ago when planning for the arrival of 3G I undertook a study of value added services which saw the idea that Vodafone might become a retail bank. Now we have Cat Keynes asking when will Nokia buy a Bank.

One of the issues when I did my work was regulation, A mobile phone network would not be able to invest in the infrastructure at the same time as holding customers money because of liquidity rules. (In today's market I have to ask if some Investment Banks comply with liquidity rules!)

Nokia becoming a bank is interesting it would give the likes of HSBC a run in terms of Brand. However the issue is that I do not think that they would want to be a Bank in the UK thanks to the fact that we spend more than we earn.

I am keen on mobile payments and Nokia have been keen to deploy NFC technologies. The issue has to be would Nokia want to be Bank rather than an enabler for all Banks. This is after all something that it has attempted to be in the past.

Thanks Mr Rockman for the heads up.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What's wrong with this post?

Smart Parts have a survey of what is available to the consumer when it comes to Mobile Broadband. The biggest problem I have is that Telefonica and France Telecom businesses do not have a product!

At an event last week the head of 3's Handset Group said that he intended to sell 500,000 devices for Mobile Broadband. They will be promoting the device as just the thing to have so that you can get ahead of others by using it on the train whilst you commute. Shows that he drives to work in Maidenhead because if he did he would know that it's standing room only for those who try and travel from London to Reading and would not work on the Chiltern Line that I use when I have to join the rush hour. But he is trying and those that I know that use the service are happy with the ease of use and cost.

But why can I not get the service from Orange who are the main provider of mobile for me? They did provided the service when I was in Spain last month for Mobile World Congress. They will do so later this month when I am in France. But the only way I can get the service in the UK is as a Business customer. Perhaps the new Chief Executive for Orange can get his masters in Paris to stop playing in the fixed broadband market and spend money on a mobile option, the costs should not be that high thanks to a network share agreement with Vodafone?

Before we all start picketing for better mobile broadband though perhaps we need to realise that fixed broadband seems to be something that those of us that live in the cold north of Europe. Mobile is something that is important to Europe because it generates approximately 5% of the GDP which is almost twice of what it should be worth. However what is needed is more than just dumb pipes from the mobile networks and shinny shinny toys from the handset guys.

If we are to develop we have to get all the networks to become involved, Mobile Broadband will not be mainstream in the UK until it is a service that is supplied by Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile AND Orange & O2 when that is so we might be able to talk about data services.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Time for a new toy

So it has been a year since my last new handset on my T-Mobile contract after a number of text messages from "agents" wanting to help me upgrade, Something that has stopped on my Orange account I decided to see what I could get.

As I had some time to kill between meetings I decided to try a T-Mobile store so that my gratification would be instant. Only problem was that my records on the T-Mobile system have errors on that I know little about as the guy in the store cannot find me, strange as I have been a customer for the last 14 years!

Having seen the poor range of handsets from t-Mobile in the UK I selected the HTC Touch Plus and decided to call the retention team on my mobile. After spoken to three different CSA they agree that I can pick up a handset from the store and the system will find me this time.

So I stop off at a different store on the way home and get a phone but only after calling the Retention team and getting them to talk the store staff through the data errors on my account.

So after a weekend of "testing" what do I think of the touch over the TyTn device that it has replaced?

The User Interface on the Touch is a great improvement.

The processor is faster and so things run better.

The touch thing is not as good as an iPhone but it is better than only touchscreen on my last windows mobile.

The bug on the T9 system has yet to be fixed so rather than a you get c.

Battery life is good.

So far happy with a device that is basically my email device when mobile. My SE P1i is still the primary handset and the Touch would have to go some if it were to replace it.