The second session at Connect 2007 Asia is entitled "Application Innovation" with George Cheng of NMS Asia moderating. The panelists are:
- Ricky Chan, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, APAC, Vidiator
- Joseph Lai, Director, Business Development, EMMA
- Ben Chiu, Executive Vice President & Co-Founder, NaturalTel
- John Sun, Senior Marketing Manager, Datang Mobile Communications Equipment
Ricky Chan is first. Vidiator is a US company, but has substantial deployments in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Their focus is video content streamed over IP to the widest possible variety of handsets. The talk is interesting, but they are the Asian outpost of a US company that I was already somewhat familiar with. As far as I can tell, they only deploy on 3G networks as that's the only way video over IP is at all responsive.
Ben Chiu is co-founder of NaturalTel in Taiwan. Again the focus is video, but here it's user-to-user video, i.e. video blogging, live video chat (with availability, a.k.a. presence), video message box and video call screening. This is video-centric social networking and, in typical Asian fashion, it works on both the PC-based Internet and on mobile phones. Mobile access is the most common approach. Ben has plenty of screen shots, many of attractive Taiwanese girls, but all the text is in Kanji so I'd have a hard time participating.
Their mobile service leverages 3G circuit-switched video. Ben claims they are generating $20 per month of extra ARPU from those who've adopted this service. That sounds very steep for Taiwan where average voice ARPU is on the order of $23-$25. I'll try and get clarification from Ben directly at the end.
Ben is followed by Joseph Lia from Emma Group in Hong Kong. Their focus is mobile gaming. Joseph leads off by quoting Jupiter Research as estimating "that nearly one-third of worldwide mobile entertainment revenues generated in 2009, will represent mobile gambling revenues." Emma Group is another company that's built a service on 3G video telephony. Here's a diagram of their platform:
and here are some of their mobile games. First the slots:
All in all, very interesting! None of these are open Internet applications and the last two are not even IP, instead using video over circuit-switched data, i.e. 3G video telephony, but they are small companies whose applications are being deployed by operators. That's very different from the US where it takes months or years to cut a deal with an operator and only the well heeled need apply.
Note: John Sun's presentation was also very interesting, but focused on TD-SCDMA infrastructure, so I'll treat it in a separate post.