TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Sprint, Verizon Opening Doors to Mobile Content

Re: Sprint, Verizon Opening Doors to Mobile Content

Steven Lichter (
Sat, 18 Jun 2005 22:04:46 GMT

I have Sprint and have been able to D/L ringtones and screensavers from
sites like 3GForfree for sometime.

Lisa Minter wrote:

> By Antony Bruno

> Sprint and Verizon Wireless may soon lower the walls on their
> networks, allowing their subscribers greater access to third-party
> content, including ringtones and graphics.

> The mobile phone giants are responding to U.S. cell phone users'
> growing interest in buying content from sources other than their
> wireless carrier.

> Allowing subscribers to access non-network content is a common
> practice for mobile operators in Europe, as well as U.S. carriers
> Cingular, Nextel and T-Mobile.

> Sprint and Verizon, however, have taken a "walled garden" approach,
> restricting content to that offered directly through their own
> delivery portals.

> Sprint is testing a system that would let content providers target its
> subscribers with sales and marketing campaigns through premium SMS
> messaging, otherwise known as "short codes."

> A short code is a four- or five-digit number that works like an e-mail
> address but across various wireless carriers. Companies can place the
> short code in their advertising to generate customer responses.

> In turn, subscribers can send a text message to a short code to
> request information or make purchases. The reply is delivered to the
> subscriber as a text message attachment. The charge is added to the
> mobile bill.


> According to John Styers, Sprint director of data communications
> services, the carrier is conducting short-code delivery trials with
> various partners, including Sony BMG and Warner Music Group.

> "Both of them are in the midst of launching a premium SMS service," he
> says. "They want to be able to offer on their artist-specific Web
> sites the artists' content in ringtone fashion through SMS. So we are
> working with them to launch some of their artists' Web sites as well."

> He says Sprint will slowly open its network after these trials, based
> on technology performance and customer feedback.

> Verizon, which has operated the most tightly controlled network of all
> U.S. carriers, uses a content delivery system called BREW. Only
> content written and delivered via the BREW system can operate on
> Verizon's network and phones.

> But Qualcomm, which created the BREW technology, has introduced a new
> version that would support non-BREW content. Sources say Verizon has
> told content aggregators that it intends to open its network to
> off-portal content before the end of the year. The carrier declined to
> comment for this story.

> According to executives at QPass, a wireless transaction management
> firm, off-portal sales in the United States are beginning to
> explode. The company manages the off-portal sales activity for
> Cingular, Nextel, Boost Mobile and other carriers that together
> represent about half of the U.S. market.

> In the last year, these carriers have seen off-portal content sales
> grow at a compound annual rate of 410 percent. In the last six months,
> total off-portal sales activity skyrocketed 1,024 percent, with a
> month-over-month growth of 141 percent this past quarter alone.

> Even with the crumbling of these garden walls, however, less than 10
> percent of all wireless content transactions in the United States are
> non-carrier. This pales in comparison with Europe, where about 80
> percent of all mobile content sold is off-portal.

> Reuters/Billboard

> Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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The only good spammer is a dead one!! Have you hunted one down today?
(c) 2005 I Kill Spammers, Inc. A Rot in Hell Co.

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