Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dean Bubley: one number, one bill, one device? or multiple?

Dean Bubley writes at his Disruptive Wireless about his thoughts on "convergence" - one device / bill / number / "identity" / service provider. He opines tha "some people want binary telephony. But plenty of others don't" for these reasons:

  • plenty of people have 2+ mobile phones and want to keep them. Maybe an email phone for work, and a cool slim phone when they're out with friends
  • plenty of people have (or want) 2 numbers. Work and personal. Different operators/different tariffs. Foreign SIM cards. "Public" and "Private" (for close friends and family). Fixed and mobile (so inbound callers don't have to phone a mobile # & incur higher costs)
  • some people want multiple bills for various reasons, or are happy with them. I've never known anyone to complain to me about getting separate ones - have you? Or complain about getting separate gas and water bills? Who cares? And certain regulators don't like it anyway
  • one "identity" - outright rubbish. Everyone has multiple email or IM addresses - and most younger people add additional multiple "aliases" or "profiles" as well, as well as various social community IDs. One of the greatest things about the Internet age is that it's much easier to "be different things to different people".
Bubley concludes with these words of advice:
Bottom line - ditch the marketingwaffle "one number etc" slides. And make sure your platform offers options to the carrier or user, that correspond with the diverse range of personal preferences.