Other operators must follow suit to create viable mobile Internet value chain in the UK
WAPwednesday, the UK's leading forum for the wireless Internet community, today welcomed the decision of Deutche Telecom, parent company of UK mobile operator One 2 One, to share revenues derived from mobile data services with the developers that created them. A recent survey of WAPwednesday members found that 92 per cent agreed that the adoption of such revenue sharing models would 'exert a positive influence on the development of compelling data services in the UK'. Grant Lemke, founder of WAPwednesday urged the other UK operators to follow T-Motion's lead in order to stimulate the mobile Internet market in the UK.
Lemke said, "This might be the end of the 'Catch-22' situation that has so far plagued the mobile Internet. Before now, developers had no reason to create compelling applications since there were no revenue sharing schemes to provide a return on their investment. Likewise, consumers didn't have access to any compelling applications so they simply ignored the mobile Internet technology being pushed to them. It was a situation in which everybody - consumers, content developers and operators alike - lost out. The decision of Deutche Telecom to share content revenues is a massive boost to the development community, if long overdue. I believe that the other UK operators must follow this lead if we are to see the development of a viable business value chain for the mobile Internet in this country."
The German operator's T-Motion mobile Internet portal is the default portal for One 2 One customers. It will launch a package of premium services in August priced 19.55 marks ($8.80) a month, although they will be free until November and will share up to half the revenues with its content providers in an attempt to emulate the huge success of the Japanese iMode service. To date, there are around 24 million users of iMode in Japan and over 40,000 applications have been developed for their use.
Lemke added, "The adoption of business models similar to iMode's, together with recent positive assessments of the mobile Internet from both Merril Lynch and Morgan Stanley, have provided an important shot in the arm to the morale of the mobile Internet community. Finally, we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel."
WAPwednesday hosts regular wireless industry events around the globe and has a total membership of membership 15,000 wireless professionals of which 3,000 are in the UK. Since its formation in December 1999, WAPwednesday has provided a reputable and well-recognised networking platform for the Wireless Community. Strong growth has been achieved and over 13 country chapters established, supported by a committed team based in London. WAPwednesday members include all parties in the mobile data value chain, from network operators and hardware manufacturers to wireless content and application providers.
To see the full results of the WAPwednesday study, please follow the link from its home page at http://www.wapwednesday.com.
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