无线网络 | wireless |무선 네트워크

3 G games

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A couple of interesting articles appeared on the Mobile Pipelines website that when read together paint an interesting picture about 3G services. First up InStat the analyst house had done some consumer research, basically only an eighth of consumers were interested in using mobile video services. Customers who were brand loyal to their carrier (ie: had the most long-term value, were also the ones who expressed the biggest disinterest in the mobile video.)

Secondly, mobile carriers are interested in getting MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) on board. Content experts like Disney (confirmed) and Apple (speculative) to drive usage of their networks. This reminds me of work that I did back at the end of 2000 around a report called Developing Winning Strategies in a Connected Society. In the report, over a 100 CEOs questioned admitted that they thought broadband in its broadest sense important, but DIDN’T know what the killer applications would be that would drive adoption. In essence they were betting blind that technological progress wouldn’t screw them over, not a particularly wise bet to make in the telecoms sector in recent years.

Mobile phone operators seem to find themselves in a similar position, by getting content MVNOs on board, they can defer the cost of rolling out 3G networks and observe how successful services can be developed (or not), as a kind of free skunk works. What is more the content experts take over some of the risk that the telecoms companies have found themselves lumbered with.

消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동

Despite the dross, web still useful

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The New York Times has an interesting article how consumers are simply replacing Windows PCs that are cluttered with spy/mal/ad-ware. The article Corrupted PCs find new home in dumpsters highlighted a number of cases included an internet industry professional, a doctor (who migrated to the Mac OS X platform), a stockbroker and a bank manager.

What is interesting is from the article is that:

  • The internet was still sufficiently useful that decided to use it inspite of their bad experiences. Not one of them questioned the benefit of using online services
  • Not one of them blamed the poor implementation of security on Windows (ie a product defect), they accepted that using IT equipment is a shoddy experience
  • An adequate PC for using the internet is now so cheap that it can be considered a disposable item, getting adequate tech support or software protection is too expensive to make it viable, which has got to be a bitch for people selling more secure products (Longhorn) or security products (Symantec, McAfee etc)
  • By inference there seems to be little upside for many consumers in paying a bit extra for a safer computer platform like the Macintosh
  • Consumers are putting relatively little value in the data that they have stored on their computer, if they are willing to just skip the old one and buy a new one like a toaster or a microwave
工艺学 | technology | 기술

The UK can have a crack at the big time

Reading Time: 2 minutes

When I first saw this Deloitte report talking about the opportunities available to the UK my immediate thoughts about the language and imagery used in both the title and the front cover, were that the authors were trying to invoke the promising loser status of British tennis players like Tim Henman.

The ball’s in our court highlights the precarious nature of the UK technology sector, since the industrial age Britain has been on a decline in the global sense of technology leadership. We do have bright designers, made world changing developments and there are some bright sparks in the technology sector like Glaxo and ARM. However for every technological leadership success there are more high-profile failures: Thorn EMI, GEC/Plessey/Marconi and ICI to name but a few.

The report does not make surprising reading. Britain has been very successful in selling technology (which is essentially what Vodafone is), but hasn’t developed its own Intel or Microsoft. Qinetiq is cited as one of only two organisations involved in IT research.

Whilst the UK has a developed financial industry that does invest in technology, the reports measured criticism of the sector in supporting the technology sector will be familiar to anyone who has read the criticism of the short-termist approach to capitalism in the UK by the likes of Will Hutton. Venture capitalist outfits come in for particular criticism, the report says that they could do much better if they had the required industry knowledge to complement their financial skills

The report cited a decline in the past five years of UK headquartered technology companies that contrasted with the performance of foreign based companies:

a growing cause for concern is the performance of UK-headquartered technology companies which, in cases, have fared poorly over the past five years. Simultaneous to a host of foreign-headquartered technology companies’ strong growth, UK headquartered companies, have disappeared from the UK’s public markets. Similarly, while there are many UK-based multinationals generating a billion pounds or more in revenue each year, only a small handful of UK-headquartered companies have managed this level of turnover (such as O2, BT, Capita, Sage and Vodafone).

You can read the full report here