Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ovum: T-Mobile Invites Google to the Party

John Delaney at Ovum writes about T-Mobile's Web 'n' Walk launch in the UK, which provides an improved Internet browsing experience from a small range of high-end mobile phones and has Google pre-set as the homepage on the phones.

He points out "mobile operators now have an opportunity to use the Internet brands as a way to drive awareness and usage of mobile data services. Google has massive brand recognition and a horde of regular users, many of whom have Google as their Internet homepage.'Google on your phone' is a service proposition that is easy to understand and carries a great deal of immediate appeal."

Delaney also warns that there's not only opportunity here, but danger too.

If the mobile operators fail to reach a rapprochement with the Internet portals fairly soon, the latter will eventually cut their losses and go straight to the mobile subscriber. The danger for the operator is this: once your customer finds out how to activate their internet browser, find Google and bookmark it, they need never see your portal again. More and more customers will discover this over the next couple of years.
Maybe things are done differently elsewhere, but on my Cingular all you can eat data plan I can freely browse the Internet. In fact, I rarely if ever use Cingular's MediaNet portal, but not for wont of trying. It just might be my phone, but I can't access any of the content Cingular offers such as games, ringtones, etc. Not that I want to, but it would be nice to see how it works....