Mobile Operators Must Accelerate Contactless Payments To Stay Relevant

Apps & Marketing Mobile Commerce
4 min read

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.

Capitalizing On Operator Billing Opportunities In Developed & Developing Markets

Apps & Marketing Mobile Commerce
4 min read

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.

Mobile Operators: Cut Out Mobile Payments Middlemen

Apps & Marketing Mobile Commerce
5 min read

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.

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

Social Media
4 min read

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.

App Strategy: Mobile Operators Must Focus On Assets They Control

Apps & Marketing
5 min read

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.)