Orange business price plans ..

Orange have launched a new set of price plans for business. This is the first time I think an Operator has targetted the business market by segmenting them in this way. This is interesting for me(apart from the price plan itself) because I believe that the business/SME space is ripe for mobility ‘beyond email’

I think we will see a lot more activity in this space ..

From the Orange literature

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Orange Solo is a tariff for people who work for themselves and includes everything you would expect from Orange with additional business benefits such as Orange Care which ensures lost, stolen or faulty handsets are replaced within 24 hours. It provides value on simple minute based plans at three price points of £30, £35 and £40 ranging from 400-800 minutes with fifty per cent extra minutes for those taking 24 month contracts. It also includes a promotional offer of free megabytes of data: 1Mb, 2Mb and 3Mb respectively for those business owners that wish to discover the benefits of mobile email and Internet. Recognising the importance of staying in touch with customers at all times Orange Solo additional promotions also include a choice of unlimited calls to landlines or unlimited texts

Orange Venture lets you make the most of your time at work and at home. It is aimed at small businesses, typically with 1-10 employees, and usually run by entrepreneurial owner managers that are always on the go, trying to juggle communication with customers, suppliers, cash-flow and above all their work / life balance. It is a simple minute based tariff with flat rate sharer fees and comes in seven price points with minute bundles ranging from 275 to 3,400 minutes. Orange Business Additions include unlimited calls between sharers and mid contract reviews. There is a three month promotional offer of unlimited off peak calls to landlines and Orange mobiles to help manage the work / life blur and 20% extra minutes for 18 month contracts and 40% extra minutes for 24 month contracts. Prices range from £28 to £165 per month.

Orange Momentum is a tariff aimed at larger businesses. These businesses typically need to be fast and adaptable so want a package that supports the dynamic work style of its various employees. In answer to this Orange Momentum is based on a simple minute based plan with nine price points for a closer tariff to calling pattern fit. Price points range from £155 for 2,500 minutes to £3,000 for 45,000 minutes. Orange Business Additions include unlimited calls and texts between sharers to allow colleagues to communicate freely. A three month promotional offer of up to 25% extra minutes or unlimited calls to other Orange mobiles is available on longer contracts.

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Platform Disturbia

It was a pleasure to meet Padmasree Warrior at her keynote in JavaOne. Padmasree mentions me on her blog(thanks for that Padmasree!) and she also follows the OpenGardens blog – which is flattering to know.

Padmasree has one of the most interesting tech blogs I have seen (and not just for the technology but also covering various issues she feels passionately about – such as women’s education, teaching maths and science etc)

At the Javaone keynote, she spoke about “Platform Disturbia” – which she blogs about on her blog in greater detail on her blogPlatform Disturbia certainly addresses the right issues, such as fragmentation, feature overload and avoiding monolithic programming.

Padmasree also adds ..

“Platform Disturbia” is a great opportunity for developers, but brings with it significant challenges. As content and communications go mobile – How do you move content easily and transcode it from one format to another? How do you set the hooks between different networks and mobile devices so the hand off is seamless? With personalization, where should the authentication and personalization engines be located – on the mobile device or on backend servers? Should context and location awareness work with authentication; how much should they reveal and to whom?

Clearly as applications go mobile developers have to think differently – Is the app itself a service that exists somewhere in the network cloud? or something you should architect right into the device? It is hard enough dealing with the sheer number of different mobile handsets, screens and separate operating systems. Now we want those devices to talk effortlessly with enterprise infrastructures – to enable secure communications and data sharing with field service people. We want to extend into the home and be able to upload and download content automatically from set top boxes. And deliver a whole new generation of location and context-based services that will make mobile devices even more personal and interactive.

I will be watching this with some interest because Platform Disturbia sounds interesting and also because of my belief that

In an IP(IMS) world, the mobile device will drive convergence because services shift to the edge of the network – and devices are at the edge of the network ..

Life 2.0: the genetic code is 3.6 billion years old ..

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Life 2.0: the genetic code is 3.6 billion years old .. It’s time for a rewrite!

Like many people who like science and technology in general, I follow branches of science other than what I work with in daily like(mobility/wireless/web). One such branch is genomics – specifically the work of Craig Venter

This week’s newsweek (International edition) has an article called Life 2.0 – Playing God based on Craig Venter’s new work in the field of Synbio(Synthetic biology)

This is well worth a read if you interested and the article has that memorable headline .. The genetic code is 3.6 billion years old .. It’s time for a rewrite!

Makes perfect sense in context of synthetic biology(which is essentially the science of creating new life forms – based on synthetic DNA, synthetic genes, synthetic genomes and ultimately whole organisms)

By the way, there is much to learn from someone like Craig Venter .. one of my role models .. he combines science with a ruthless practicality, vision and focus .. which sadly is an exception amongst many technologists today.

Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS course at Oxford university ..

In July, I will be conducting a course on Mobile Web 2.0 and IMS course at Oxford university. If you are interested, please register via the above link

The 75th Carnival of the mobilists: at VisionMobile Forum

The 75th Carnival of the Mobilists is at Andreas Constantinou’s VisionMobile Forum . I follow Andreas’s work and like his thinking, so its flattering to be selected amongst his top 10 posts. Enjoy the carnival as usual!

Quotations book – Web 2.0 business models and designing a Web 2.0 site

I met Amit Kothari, founder of Quotations Book when we were both interviewed by Robert Scoble for the Scoble show. He had just launched his site and we discussed some ideas around it. Quotations book is an interesting site for two reasons: It’s a Web 2.0 site from the ground up and Amit set it up for less than £20,000 (which is roughly around $40,000).

Here is a synopsis of his site and what I learned from it in an interview format

How did you got the idea?

The site has been active for several years in a previous incarnation. The original site had thousands of visitors a day and RSS feeds of content – which was used by answers.com for syndication. However – it lacked community and a real interactivity based on the focal point – which is quotations. I was looking to deepen my interest in quotations, understand the domain in a simple way, and then create a new venture based on various lessons learned.

What is the unique selling point?

The site is the only one that currently uses the data at Project Gutenberg to provide context to literary quotations – from the most popular books in Western literature. In terms of our general domain, there has been hardly any innovative activity in the area of quotable text content – we are the first to address this important problem. At the Future of Web Apps in London (February 2007) – where we talked about quotationsbook – various people saw a very significant missing piece of richness on the web, simpler than video or photos – which we are addressing. Comments from a couple of people are on our press page

What is your strategy?

We are guided somewhat by our users, but our plan going forward is outlined very briefly on our blog , where updates in the future can also be tracked -

How have you publicised your idea?

At present, our core visitor base is stable and increasing – a legacy from the old site. We’re still building a lot of features, and hope to kick off press and promotion activities in the future. We sponsored and spoke at the Future of Web Apps in February too.

What are your biggest challenges?

The most significant problem we faced is within the content system – since users adding their own quotes poses difficult problems which is very different to adding user generated video or photos. There are issues about accuracy, and how the community can contribute to spotting them – and also problems around attribution – in that sources are often not entirely web-based or reliable. The community process and conversations that are not subjective are the most difficult to handle, because we have to create a process to report inaccuracies not simply to us, but to the owner of the quote (the person that added it). It would suffice to say that discussing the accuracy and context of a quote in a group, even in the real world, is a fairly difficult problem!

What is your revenue model?

We don’t intend to have ads as far as possible. Current revenue generating ideas include chargeable mobile content services, as well as printing books of your favourite quotes. There are far larger plans ahead that I can’t disclose but would potentially have disruptive potential as solid business models. Once we have an API, an interesting observation to make is that it assists any other ventures – in that quotes do not have to be tied tightly into any subsidiary venture we decide to create. Depending on our growth and its geographical bias, we hope to introduce our users to activities in the real world, especially in London and the UK.

Mobile 2.0 – A conceptual diagram ..

When I spoke at the keynote at Web 2.0 expo , I ended up speaking about Mobile 2.0.

I have traditionally defined the term Mobile Web 2.0 as opposed to Mobile 2.0 (which is the title of the book Mobile Web 2.0 written by me and Tony Fish ).

In our book Mobile Web 2.0, we define the term Mobile Web 2.0 as extending the idea of Web 2.0 to Mobile devices. A more complete definition and the approach behind it can be seen in the blog Of Web 2.0, Mobile Web 2.0 , Blue chairs, Blind men and Elephants – but essentially, it is technology agnostic because we can view the root principle of Web 2.0 as ‘harnessing collective intelligence’ and then extend Mobile Web 2.0 as ‘harnessing collective intelligence using mobile devices’.

Thus, the definition of Mobile Web 2.0, as we define in our book, is

a) Technology agnostic(i.e. any mobile technology can be used to capture intelligence from a mobile device)

b) Capturing intelligence at point of inspiration. The mobile device lends itself very well to this purpose because it is available at the point of inspiration

c) Adding metadata to the harnessed information (for instance location metadata)

d) And in future, we will define ‘Intelligence’ more broadly: For instance through Mobile communities, Identity, Location based tagging and mashups between the Web and the Telco world. Hence, see blogs like Bothered 2.0 from Tony ..

However, coming back to Mobile 2.0 (as opposed to Mobile Web 2.0)

Mobile 2.0 is a term first used by Daniel Appelquist and then also elaborated by Rudy De Waele .

For my O Reilly Web 2.0 expo keynote, I referred to some work by both Dan and Rudy and came up with the diagram as below.

mobile%2020%20conceptual%20diagram1.jpg

Its self explanatory and it also follows from my work with IMS at Oxford university , talk about IMS in Monaco and my work with Frauenhofer fokus .

Essentially, we talked of abstracting the network at an API level. The first step in evolution is IMS – the ultimate stage is a ‘mashup’ for the lack of a better word between the Web and the Telco world.

To come from the world today to the world of Mobile 2.0, we need a few other things to happen – for instance Open Standards, Devices accessing multiple networks and so on

Seek your thoughts on this

Feel free to use the diagram referring back to this blog. Download a high res version here: Mobile 2.0 conceptual diagram

Feedburner story: The increasing irrelevance of journalists when compared to bloggers

Sam Sethi of Vecosys first reported on the story of feedburner being acquired by Google. Today, Mike Arrington of techcrunch confirmed it.

This is significant because journalism and old media (like newspapers) were primarily concerned with two things: Breaking news (the latest developments which have value the quicker they are reported accurately) and Analysis.

Increasingly, with the rise of blogosphere, the function of analysis is becoming democratised because the wisdom of all the blogosphere is better than the analysis of the few journalists – no matter how good they are

What is more interesting is: the function of ‘news reporting’ is also leaning towards blogosphere.

Admittedly, many blogs like my own blog OpenGardens are not about news i.e. we are not geared to report the latest developments in the industry. We focus only on analysis

However, the news of feedburner’s acquisition was reported by Sam Sethi – a blogger and confirmed by Mike Arrington (another blogger). Previously, Google’s acquisition of YouTube was also reported by Techcrunch and Mike Arrington talks about consequent techcrunch bashing where he says: I am surprised that traditional media is starting to see TechCrunch as newsworthy enough to attack. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

There was a time when highly paid hacks with considerable resources at their disposal, would be the first to get the story.

To me, it seems increasingly that the blogosphere is reporting it and confirming it – with the journalists left on the side.

This is a good thing in my view. It is a sign of the times that the big media/few journalists are becoming increasingly irrelevant with the wisdom of crowds.

If you doubt that the rise of blogosphere is a good thing: think about this – there is a collective wisdom of journalists as well! Most journalists and big media globally supported the Iraq war .. and now almost all ‘collectively’ oppose it .. where is the objectivity in that?

Far better to decentralise and globalise the viewpoints rather than a few big publications and a few journalists spoon-feed us with their views

Stats: UK online spend could overtake TV within the next three to four years

source: the bbc

very interesting .. even today printed press remains the highest percentage spend of advertising and television is the second highest spend

Spending on outdoor adverts grew faster than that on radio and TV

Money spent on UK television adverts fell last year for the first time since 2001, according to new research.

TV advertising spend declined 4.7% from 2005 levels to £4.59bn – but still accounted for the second largest advertising medium after the press.

The printed press sector also suffered a 2.7% drop in spend, according to the Advertising Association (AA), although directories bucked the trend.

UK spending on internet adverts topped 10% of the total for the first time.

“I believe online spend could overtake TV within the next three to four years,” said Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau, the trade association for the internet marketing industry.

Apart from the internet, the largest gainer was outdoor advertising.

The figures to be published next month in the AA’s Advertising Statistics Yearbook 2007 show advertising spend in the UK exceeded £19bn, up 0.7% from the year before.

Regional newspapers snubbed

The printed press accounted for by far the largest share of total advertising expenditure at 43.7%.

Advertisers snubbed regional newspapers and consumer magazines, but national newspapers registered a marginal increase and spend in directories grew by 3.8%.

Spend on Outdoor advertising increased 4% to £1bn, beating radio which dropped 7.7%.

Online surged 47.5% to £2bn, 10.6% of total expenditure.

If you STILL don’t understand Web 2.0 ..

See this video

Great!