Part One for this article is
A case for phone book 2.0? Part One : FMC (Fixed to mobile convergence) cannot live by ‘cost savings’ alone!
To recap, the question was
a) Whats the value proposition of FMC(fixed to mobile convergence)
b) Hypothetically, If I get a call from my Operator(O2/Vodafone/T-mobile) etc .. trying to ‘sell’ me FMC – what would it sound like? What exactly are they selling and why? Whats in it for me? cost reduction?
Please read Part One to get a big picture view. Here are my thoughts
a) FMC cannot live by ‘cost savings’ alone! – see what happened to 3G – A network alone cannot make money – you need services
b) Cost savings(or free) is not a business model for Opertors – The city will not accept it, the customers will not trust it and its financially not viable
c) Most Operators are driven to FMC only because they have little choice. The City wants them to increase subscriber numbers. Local markets are saturated. Overseas expansions have not proved profitable or manageable. This is a good reason for the Operator to adopt FMC- but not a compelling enough reason for the customer(yet!)
d) FMC itself is a very limited term. ‘Fixed’ and ‘Mobile’ are not the only two entities(other two being broadband and TV). In fact, Operators promote FMC only because thats the only element that they CAN do so far(for instance my real driver for an upgrade is to get the Discovery Channel – which no Operator really knows!)
e) It also leads to more questions in my mind: i.e. who will win in this game?
f) If you discount price cutting(no pun intended!), then customers need unified services.
g) The phone book discussions here are, to me, an indicator of a simple service which would be useful to me. Shane’s examples of fring show a potentially useful service(to me) – although I dont see the business model for fring
h) If you then extend that idea of a unified phone book, by Jag’s thoughts l(i.e. it is more than a buddy list i.e. should include the Pizza guy, local Chinese takeway etc etc), you have the makings of a potentially useful service.
i) If you extend that idea furthur to the other elements of quadplay, then you need maybe TV listings, song preferences, community to share your media preferences etc. In other words, once you have a list of contacts – and that list spans all networks – then you can build a whole community around that ‘Phone book’ – ofcourse it no longer remains a phone book as such
j) Finally, if you consider what we talk of in Mobile Web 2.0, i.e. the ‘six screens’ – (TV, PC, Cinema, mobile,portable screens such as in cars and planes, information screens like iPod and the ‘mobile phone’) – THEN the same phone book (now holding more than phone numbers) must be accessible from all these screens.
k) The next logical question is – what technology will be used to access this hypothetical phone book at a service level? To me, it is some form of browser – but then I am biased!!
l) Finally, the winner is likely to be the one who can ‘sell’ this phone book to the customer and NOT the one who builds the network. The one who builds the network only sans services risks being Pipe 2.0 smile The entity who builds the phone book will be the commercial winner.
I have learnt a lot from this thread. Thanks espeicallty to Jag, Shane, Colin, Tomi, Dean, Jim, Peter, David and Kevin