Author: Matt Anderson

Topic: Mobile Commerce Author: Matt Anderson

Mobile Operators Must Accelerate Contactless Payments To Stay Relevant

contacless paymentApple, Google and Nokia and Blackberry are bent on embedding contactless payment technology (NFC) into their devices, thus making it possible for consumers to buy goods and services in physical shops and locations.

Each OEM is at a different stage on their experimentation with this technology. Nokia already offers several devices that support NFC; Apple is going ahead with its own NFC initiative; Google claims it will support mobile payments (via NFC) in the near future; and Blackberry has said it will support NFC in devices going forward.

Topic: Mobile Commerce Author: Matt Anderson

Capitalizing On Operator Billing Opportunities In Developed & Developing Markets

mobile payment opportunitiesEditor's note: We continue today with part 2 of this series looking at the opportunities in mobile payments -- and where mobile operators need to focus their efforts if they want to stay in the game.

Where is the real opportunity in mobile payments?

Developed markets are tough ones to crack, since consumers already buy a significant amount of goods and services (real stuff in real stores and digital content in the iTunes store) with their credit cards.

Topic: Mobile Commerce Author: Matt Anderson

Mobile Operators: Cut Out Mobile Payments Middlemen

cutting out middlemenIn this first part of a two-part series I take a hard look at the hard reality of how mobile operators must do business in the AA era (After Apple).

Granted the App Store created an exciting (and single) marketplace for developers to create, test and sell apps to consumers. But the model also totally disintermediated operators from app revenues.

Since then mobile operators have sought to reassert themselves in the value chain by offering their own app stores, a me-too strategy borrowed from Apple that has so far failed to pay dividends for a variety of reasons.

Topic: Social Media Author: Matt Anderson

Five Great Ways Operators Can get More Mileage Out Of Social Media

social bookmarksIn the app store space, social conversations and connections can mean the difference between notoriety and obscurity for apps on offer. In this scenario it makes good business sense for mobile operators (and app store owners) to improve content discovery, allowing consumers to rate, recommend and gift products to their friends just like Amazon does.

But why limit that approach to storefronts and app stores?

Mobile operators can refine this approach to insert themselves at the center of our social media exchange, a trusted position that is the cornerstone of a sustainable business.

Topic: Mobile Apps Author: Matt Anderson

App Strategy: Mobile Operators Must Focus On Assets They Control

app direct billingThe central role of operators in the mobile content and services value chain has been a given since the start. Initially, their biggest asset was distribution. Their access to millions - even hundreds of millions of consumers -- allowed them to call the shots and dictate the terms to providers and companies lining up to offer their content via operator portals. However, the advance of smartphones changes all the rules.

Mobile operators are now struggling to find their place in a value chain that is stacked in favor of the handset makers and OEMs that run the app stores. Sure, mobile operators can launch a competing app store. But the chances of success are limited. (In fact, we have yet to see a carrier leave its mark on the app landscape.)

Topic: Search Author: Matt Anderson

Global Prepaid Explosion Forces Strategy Shift; MetroPCS Rolls Out Personalized Portal

metroPCS logoThe global prepaid market is growing faster than post-paid, but winning and retaining these customers is no longer about extending plain-vanilla telephony services to people on fixed budgets. The advance of smartphones and faster 4G networks forces mobile operators to get smarter about how they offer data services (that were traditionally offered to post-paid subscribers) to everyone.

A recent poll conducted by research firm Ovum (and commissioned by Amdocs) reveals the vast majority of service providers and operators can read the writing on the wall.

Topic: Mobile Marketing Author: Matt Anderson

Mobile Operators Can Learn From India To Promote Innovation, Rethink Revenue Models

indian marketHow can mobile operators cash in on the huge opportunities in the Indian mobile market? There is no silver-bullet solution. However, a more flexible approach to revenue share agreements would jumpstart services innovation and -- ultimately - benefit mobile operators (and everyone else in the value chain).

To drive this point home I recount observations from my most recent trip to India. I also summarize a raft of recent reports from leading analysts that describe (and quantify) the market for value-added services (VAS). Gartner, for example, predicts that the VAS market, including data, will grow from $3+ billion in 2010 (or 15 percent of the total mobile revenues) to $5+ billion in 2014 (or 21 percent).

Topic: Mobile Apps Author: Matt Anderson

Amazon Joins The App Game; Why Pricing & Personalization Are Decisive

amazon app storeAmazon may be a little late to the party, but it's decision to launch the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal -- a new self-service tool that allows mobile application developers to join the retailer's Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android -- shows a fast-follower approach may stir up the market more than Apple and Google combined.

Read between the lines and Amazon is out to take on Android Marketplace and cut out mobile operators (by copying Apple's payment approach that allows consumers to purchase apps using a credit card stored on file, and so removes mobile operators from the revenue split altogether).

Topic: Mobile Apps Author: Matt Anderson

Google Move Bodes Well For Direct Carrier Billing; Why Mobile Operators Can’t Lose

android marketplaceGoogle's decision to embrace AT&T's Direct Carrier Billing for Android users is a clear win for consumers because they can purchase apps and charge them to their mobile phone bill. But the real story is what this move means for mobile operators.

For large operators with established storefronts (like AT&T), the tie-up with Google means an increase in revenue because the carrier has effectively (and wisely) positioned itself to perform billing on behalf of a third-party storefront (this strategy is also known as BOBO). And this is in addition to the carrier's benefit from selling content on its own.