Monday, October 5, 2009

More Changes In The Mobile Landscape

As more folks get onto the Internet wirelessly and new technologies and business models come into play, the good old days when companies can rely on old ways of reaching out to customers and making money doesn't work well any longer.

Take for example, this deal between Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Fox Sports, and Turner Sports in developing a player that would work with their Internet media as well as Apple's iPhone.  Could this have happened a year ago?

The Internet and mobile has really disrupted traditional media.  Hulu, anyone?  This is just the media company portion.

The other is the wireless and telecom market.  Vonage now has an app for the iPhone and Blackberry.  Skype is doing nicely as an iPhone app.  Still, the wireless providers are being affected the shift and interests in the mobile market.  In the last couple of years, mobile users have gained more freedom than at any other time thanks to Apple wrestle control away from ATT in favor of iPhone users.

To be certain, if not Apple, and open mobile access is inevitable.  The market forces are just too strong for wireless providers to go up again.  They are simply buying time until they can figure out where they fit.

For instance, all the providers now are attempting to create their own app stores to compete with the likes of iTunes, Blacberry's App World, and Android's Marketplace.  For the moment, I'm at a loss as to how T-Mobile, Sprint, VW, and ATT are going to be able to create compelling alternatives.  But hey, that's what where good old-fashion innovation comes into play, right?

For instance, ATT is putting Opera Mini on traditional mobile phones and charging only $15 a month for access.  And according to CNet, VW also changed wireless data package for non-smartphone phones.  And because of the growing popularity of mobile Internet access, billions will be spent in 2009 alone to built out capability.  ATT will be spending $17 billion in 2009 on next generation networks and improving existing 3G access.

These are just the beginning and what we'll see for the rest of 2009.  There's some suggestions that the next generation of mobile devices may forgo traditional voice plans and completely rely on data for voice access.

Okay, maybe not the next generation.  But it's happening.  The writings already on the wall.

More at MocoNews.  More in ATT mobile access at CNet.

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