Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mobile Internet Berlin: Day 2

Once again, I've been live twittering from Mobile Internet in Berlin, but here's my chance to summarise and consider. Will be live twittering for third (and for me final) day, tomorrow, April 2.
Interesting stuff today: I love the fact that Tom Hume posted on the blog yesterday and has turned up at the conference today... and that Rocco Georgi, who chaired the pre-conference I spoke at, is now following me on twitter.
In today's sessions we heard from a series of operators who congratulated themselves for simplifying their data pricing. With much success, it has to be said. They think they have also torn down walled gardens.
I'm not so sure they've achieved either.
O2 in Germany, for example, have simplified their tariffs so you pay 9c per minute on pay as you go, phone users pay 10 euro for 200mb a month and laptop users can have up to 5GB for 25 euros a month.
Sounds simple dunnit? But i doesn't include text or mms or voice... which complicates it all over again.
3 In Austria have been in a price war over data prices. Latest result 25GB for 24 Euro a month + live streaming TV to your phone or laptop FREE. Not sure if this includes text, voice or mms... but it does include skype.
3 Austria's Alexander Franz made an interesting point about how skype changes the pricing relationship. Before it you paid depending on use. Now you pay depending on relationship. If you know someone well enough to have their skype details you can call them very cheaply - no matter where they are.
He used the example of calling home to family in Croatia via skype.
Lovely, except for the simplification of data tariffs the operators keep steering around: roaming data!
As soon as you actually go to Croatia and make the same skype call on your 3 Austria phone, you're going to get stung for high roaming data charges.
Imagine how useful googlemaps would be to me right now in finding my way around Berlin. Build in some half decent community/association with something like one of the many socialised business trip connectors and recommenders and you have a result. But am I going to pay £3 a mb? No!!! Imagine the business google is missing - that they could rev share with the operators.
When will this madness end?

I was also amused by Teliasonera's play, just launched in Sweden and rolling out across all their markets: they offer a quick-search home portal which opens content fast and makes even 2G phones usable for internet. But they serve other peoples content then place their ads on it. They think its legal and all... but it is upsetting content providers.
What about a revenue share, asks the audience. Daren't do a deal in case it's a porn site we're doing the deal with, says Senior VP and Head of Content Services (Europe) Indra Asander.
Eh? You're happy to serve your own ad on the porn content (opening in a pane) but not share the revenue for it? Odd morals.

I had lunch with an interesting crew, among them Tim Hyland, of YouTube. I discovered something I didn't know. If a youtube video carries an ad and you copy and paste it to display on your own site/homepage/blog etc, the ad will not serve on your url, unless you also have adsense on your page. If you do have adsense, the ad serves AND you get a revenue share.

Jesus Pindado, talked on the subject of recommendation systems and his company MyStrands, and we're planning to meet after breakfast tomorrow to talk some more.

In the roundtable session we were asked to consider the impact of flat rate data and what barriers face off portal content providers.

Discovery was the key issue our group identified. Makes me wonder why we don't offer an audio search engine (ie one you can talk at/too) via your mobile - and which then sorts results depending on the device you are using.

More tomorrow, no doubt.


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?