Some notes from the first after lunch session at Connect 2007 in Madrid yesterday, entitled Community Goes Mobile. Dave Penny (VP Biz Dev at NMS) moderated, with panelists:
- David Springall, CTO, Yospace
- Stuart O'Brien, Editor, Mobile Entertainment Magazine , Intent Media
- Gerrit-Jan Konijnenberg, CEO, Comsys
- Peter Karney, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, NEC
The first key point is communities don't align with operators. The lead example in every market is SMS. Until there was universal connectivity, SMS never took off. David is particularly vocal that social networks have to span multiple operators to succeed. This is interesting as Yospace currently runs SeeMeTV for 3 in the UK and Look At Me for O2 in the UK and a similar service for 10 other operators in various countries.
Big discussion of charging models. If Facebook is free on the Internet, why pay for mobile access. Conclusion, you'll never get someone to pay per transaction, but you might get someone to pay an Internet access fee, especially a fixed known flat rate fee (like x per day for all day and y max for all month Internet access).
Another interesting point is that mobile operators are doing deals with Internet brands (like Vodafone UK with MySpace) because the Internet brand has more recognition than the mobile brand.
Of course there are no operator representatives on this panel to hold up their end... :-)