IS 3 PUTTING THE WIND UP THE REST?
n amongst the good news, and it was good news, from Vodafone at its half year results was a rather surprising dig at new entrant 3G operator 3.
Aside from all the understandable trumpet blowing on share buy backs and increased divvies, Julian Horn-Smith, chief operating officer, criticised the media for the unwarranted amount of attention 3 was getting, compared to the amount Vodafone receives for all the good work it carries out. It seemed a little out of place at the results announcement, but perhaps the shot was fired in frustration and a growing suspicion amongst mobile operators that 3 is queering the 3G pitch for everyone else. Market perception of third generation services is going to be all important, and nobody wants another ‘surf the net’ WAP style debacle. No doubt 3 would point out that Horn-Smith is a little rattled by its progress, as it continues to sell phones in the run up to Christmas and keeps its advertising campaign inflated.
HAVE LAPTOP, WILL CONNECT
If there is to be a WAP-reminiscent clash of hype against experience it seems most likely to come from WLAN, on whose behalf Intel and those Centrino adverts have been making great claims. Is there a wireless hotspot at the top of your local mountain? I only ask because viewers in the UK, and in the rest of the continent for all I know, have been treated to a diverting piece in which two intrepid mountaineers boot up their laptop on the top of a rather large hill. Never mind the problems of negotiating the keyboard with those big gloves on, is Intel really trying to plant the seed that WLAN coverage is so ubiquitous it can head wherever you are. As a method for shifting laptops, perhaps it is working, from the point of view of managing user expectations, totally useless.
MOBILE EUROPE ONLINE
We at Mobile Europe are about to experience the reality of managing expectations ourselves as we launch our website in February. Long overdue, some of you have been telling us, while others ask why we are doing it now.
Well, it has become increasingly obvious that, try as we might, and we do try, we simply can’t filter and present all the information we would like to our readers within the pages of this magazine. We will continue to go out and find our own stories and bring them to you in the magazine as we always have done. From February, that information will be complemented by our website, which will carry daily news, as well as a full range of comment, opinion, white papers and top level interviews. The magazine will only be strengthened by the addition of the website, as it will expose us to a far wider audience and enable us to keep our readers as up to date as possible with industry developments. But we understand there is a great desire for the monthly, digestible format of the magazine and we will honour that too. We are excited about the prospects for the combined strengths of the magazine on paper and online and hope you are too. From the 3GSM Congress onwards (23 February)you will be able to find us online at www.mobileeurope.co.uk.