TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Who Will Control Mobile Entertainment?

Who Will Control Mobile Entertainment?

Monty Solomon (
Wed, 28 Sep 2005 17:03:58 -0400

By Susan Kuchinskas

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mobile entertainment is the next hot thing -- and
it's been the next hot thing for a good five years now.

But phones and mobile devices may finally be growing up enough to
support the kind of rich content industry that's developing on the
Web. The launch of the Motorola iPod phone earlier this month and the
expected release of a Treo smartphone running Microsoft's Windows
embedded illustrate that mobile devices may be ready for prime time.

The Mobile Entertainment Summit is being held a day ahead of the CTIA
Wireless & Internet show, which kicks off on Tuesday.

While devices are getting smarter, the business model for mobile
content in the U.S. still remains stalled in the "walled garden"
model, where network operators limit subscriber access to content,
services and wireless Web sites on the operator's wireless Web portal.

But this model makes it hard for small content providers that don't
have the revenue or business connections to land such a deal.
Carriers that enable subscribers to go "off-portal" or "off-deck" to
access any available content help grow the mobile content industry,
mobile upstart companies contend. In this model, the operator's
revenue comes from increased usage, rather than from a slice of
revenue from the content.

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