“MNOs are certain to resist this trend,” says Andrew Parkin-White, Principal Analyst at Analysys and co-author of Mobile Market Perspectives 2008 (A summary of recent research into the evolving mobile market).
“Revenue-share arrangements for most services are highly complexand, once the MNO takes its share, the remaining revenue is often divided among many content providers, making it difficult for them to achieve viable revenue streams.”
Parkin-White says pricing of MME services continues to be too complex, often confusing consumers and inhibiting service take-up.
“MNOs aiming to be more than bit pipes, and looking to achieve crtical mass in the MME market, should abandon usage-based data charges,” he argues.
Parkin-White believes that bundled offerings with fixed prices are likely to become the norm for most MME services. Device manufacturers are also active in the MME value chain and are promoting the growth of off-portal services. “Two good examples of this are Nokia’s establishment of an MME system around its Ovi platform and Apple iPhone’s new model for revenue sharing between carrier and handset provider,” he explains.
Parkin-White feels that a number of online service providers have the potential to be very disruptive in the MME value chain:
“Google is foremost among these – it has made numerous forays into mobile advertising and has acquired several mobile media platforms and networking sites. MNOs should concentrate on driving MME service take-up and on differentiating their service offerings by improving the user experience, rather than focusing on acquiring unique content,” Parkin-White says.
Analysys provides strategy and management consultancy, information services and start-up support throughout the telecommunications, IT and media sector. The Analysys team is attending GSMA Mobile World congress in Barcelona, 11–14 February.