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New hot: Mobile Media company (mobile operator for the rest of us)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Oct-2007 08:19

Rant of the day: companies that create new names for old stuff.

It happens a lot in Nokia's press releases. For instance the company calls its Nokia N95 a "multimedia computer", and call I it a "smartphone".

Mobile operator 3 cals itself a "mobile media company", I call it a... "mobile operator" (ok, North Americans can call it a "carrier").

This is an interesting shift. Until a few years ago telcos would sometimes have an ISP (Internet Service Provider) such as Telecom New Zealand's Xtra, but they would distance themselves from that business. They wouldn't want to mix the core voice network with their data network - if not for fear of the unknown business model, at least for FUD security reasons.

These days is the other way around. Every ISP and cowboy want to be the telco, jumping in the VoIP (Voice over IP) wagon. The problem with this is that I can't see some ISPs putting the value of voice network integrity as highly as a traditional telco model would. And therefore the quality of service can be impacted.

There are exception of course In my personal experience and after talking to some of their people, WorldxChange VFX seems to run their voice business as a traditional telco model - the company operate their voice network in a way to maintain the integrity of the service, by keeping SIP configuration locked down, only allowing certified devices to connect to their network, etc.

Back to the mobile segment, mobile operators are acting as the new ISPs. They started it a few years ago with data packet services (GPRS) offering access to their walled garden and have all the good reasons now with 3G data access speeds.

Mobile operators tend to not provide all the services an ISP would. For example e-mail addresses. But is this bad in these days of hosted e-mail accounts? No, probably not at all. But you will have a hard time trying to find a NNTP server provided by a mobile operator - even probably to find anyone within a mobile operator that knows what NNTP is - damn, even traditional ISPs are ditching NNTP servers these day, a shame.

I wonder if sometime in the future governments will try to force mobile operators to "unbundle the wireless loop" and allow third party ISPs to provide data services over the mobile operators' networks.

Probably not, if mobile operators move to a complete VoIP platform and proclaim themselves "media company" or "ISP".

What started as a rant about naming, ended up covering three of four subjects... Talk about train of thought...

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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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