Archive for May, 2005

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May 13th, 2005

Are you in touch with your dog’s emotions today?

KTF Launches Service Interpreting Dog’s Bark
“South Korean wireless carrier KTF launched a new service that enables dog owners to know whether their pets are feeling happy or sad. Users must first connect to the Internet with their wireless phones, then register information regarding the dogs breed and age. The service will then record the dog’s bark. The owner will receive text messages telling them how the dog feels, such as “I am happy” or “I am frustrated”. (Source: Associated Press)”

I really don’t think there’s much more I can add to this.

I think one thing that it does show – it’s very hard to predict what will be a successful wireless data service. It also gives weight to the side of the argument for carriers to open up their networks – let the consumers decide what applications and content they want.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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May 13th, 2005

Teens – Sweet Spot for Wireless Services

We have two new reports that discuss how consumers are using their cell phones. The first is a report on Teens. The second is our annual consumer survey of wireless subscribers.

One of the most interesting findings for me is that 26 percent of teens use their cell phones only for voice. Among adults, the number is 43 percent. With the behavior of teens and young adults (18-24) being so different than the average cell phone subscriber, it’s easy to see why MVNO’s are building out services for that segment alone. We’ll be writing more on that topic later this year.

Both reports are loaded with detailed information about which carriers are leading the wirelesss data services market, how consumers are using their phones, how usage differs by age, etc.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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May 11th, 2005

Next Gen Laptop (Sony) With Last Gen Cellular Technology

Sony announced a laptop PC with a built-in cellular module that allows users to bypass the purchase of a separate card if they choose to sign up for Cingular’s data access service at $79.95/month. The module works with Cingular’s EDGE network.

In my opinion, this does not get them to the cutting edge. It does give their customers the broadest access available nationwide, but certainly not the fastest or most cutting edge. Consumers paying $79.95 per month are not mass market. If they are paying $79.95 per month, then they will want access to the best networks available – EV-DO where it is available and eventually HSDPA for Cingular.

I understand the logic of wanting to offer a product appealing to the widest possible base, but I don’t understand not putting the latest generation of technology into a product marketed as “cutting edge.”

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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May 6th, 2005

Ringbacks Beat Ring Tones? I feel like a DJ.

I’ve now purchased four ringback tones in comparison to two ring tones. The reason? My friends are starting to complain about hearing the same song over and over.

“That Green Day song you have is a bit of a downer … could you assign my number to another song?”

“I’m tired of listening to that song. Could you swap it out with another one?”

Most of my friends are in their mid-thirties and have been using phones for circa 30+ years – at a minimum. They’ve been listening to phones ring on both ends for decades. Same ring – over and over and over. Now, after two weeks of hearing 30 seconds of one song … it’s annoying? How did we get here?

And so it goes. I now feel like a DJ at a radio station taking requests – each one at $1.99 a pop – and that’s just for “renting.” I haven’t technically spent more on ringbacks than ring tones yes as the ring tone application was more expensive upfront, but my ring back expenditures will soon overtake those of my ring tones.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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May 4th, 2005

Wireless Carrier Billing Clarity – In Print

A lawsuit was filed earlier this year in California on behalf/by wireless subscribers who received higher than expected charges for ring tones. Jamster has been accused of not providing transparency in their pricing policies. See these articles: Article 1, Article 2, and Article 3.

These stories didn’t resonate much with me until I received written (= on paper delivered by USPS) notice from Verizon this week that I would be charged $0.99/month for my ringback service.

I’m not sure yet if this is voluntary on Verizon’s part or mandated by the state of California. (I do plan to find out) In any case, I think it’s a great strategy because it was not clear in my mind that I would be paying monthly charges for the service. Only piece missing was a clear opt out strategy.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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May 4th, 2005

Ringbacks – My Phone Log is Longer Than Ever

My phone log is still shows folks calling three and four times. Guess I know who is and isn’t reading my blog.

I’m happy to report that my mother only called four times before giving up. She’s 63. My friends in their mid-thirties also called on average three to four times. My extremely sophisticated research here is showing that there is not a significant increase in number of “hang-up’s” as age increases.

She finally left a message at the office and suggested that there was something wrong with my phone.

The feedback theme this week has been ” … you’ll never guess what happened when I called your mobile number. I think there is something wrong with my phone.” One of my colleagues suggested that I call customer service to get the problem fixed. That is my favorite so far.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless