Monday, November 13, 2006

Two years until mobile internet is bigger than fixed line

I use this blog as a thoughtpad as much as anything else - and so - here's some thoughts about mobile internet pulled together from the many blogs and brilliant minds I access - so credit to you all (see recommended blogs and links):

By 2008 more people will access the internet by mobile than by PC* (Tomi T Ahonen).
By 2008: Mobile TV reaches 25m users in Asia Pacific (72m by 2010). (

Mobile on internet delivers things you can't get on PC:
i) a mobile phone-based internet is totally personalised. Our PC is often shared (family, work restrictions etc)
ii) The mobile phone is always on. Alerts can always be delivered at the moment they are needed.
iii) The mobile phone is always within hand's reach. No other technology is so close to us physically at all times.
iv) Mobile phone offers a built-in payment mechanism. On a fixed line internet we need to set up something like Paypal, or need to submit a credit card. On the mobile we can pay with a click.

v) Give the above it's inevitable that the internet big boys will optimise for mobile RATHER THAN pc.

For Content providers:

Users on the traditional PC-based internet expect content to be free, but mobile phone users expect mobile content to be paid-for.
Collecting money on the traditional fixed wireline internet is very cumbersome. Collecting money on the mobile internet is built-in.
The world's biggest internet company by revenues is not Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon or AOL. It is Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo's domestic mobile internet arm, i-Mode. i-Mode alone makes bigger profits than the five internet darlings combined.

Where will you put your best content? On the mobile internet of course.

Merge the above thoughts with the following trends I've identified re social-networking - and the idea that social networking is the killer app of mobile internet (ie 3G) and we seem to be building an increasingly compelling case for putting mobile internet at the heart of content provider strategy. See below (previously published)

  • Users want to tag their world (3G, geolocation)
  • People are making use of new social networking tools to re-establish a ‘we-species’ (as in communities everywhere, but with 3G geolocation these communities can be focused on where you are right now, with the fluidity to allow you to connect with new communities as you move through your world).
  • Users want to remain permanently connected to their communities (through text messaging if not ‘online all the time’.)
  • People are (naturally) creative and want to co-create their content if we give them the tools.
  • People want their opinions to matter – and will rate things (including content others have created).
  • People are increasingly used to using several channels, increasingly at once.
  • They demand speed of response.
  • They have an open-minded approach to change and to experimentation (creative hacking).
  • Convergent technology is helping to drive much of the above.
  • Crowd-sourcing draws on all these to create contributory communities willing to help develop products which can self-perfect. This can inform all digital development.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?