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Why I don’t use Skype much largely is the result of a savvy move from a telecom provider in Southeast Asia.
I have many friends in Asia, many of whom are not exactly rolling in money. So they can’t afford a data plan on their cell phone to use Skype. But what they all can do is use Facebook, and they all can use Facebook because many telecoms in the region give Facebook access away for free while charging for other Internet access such as web browsing. This is a good way to slowly upsell consumers—and to indirectly get me to use Facebook even more than I normally would.
Similar value-added services through selective access to particular mobile applications can be seen here in the U.S., too. T-Mobile, for instance, has recently begun offering unlimited streaming Internet radio even for customers who can’t step up for the larger data plans that normally would be needed to support Internet radio on a mobile device.
This is good business. It is a way that operators can help fend off the over-the-top challenge that threatens to turn telecoms into commodity businesses.
By Josee Loudiadis, Alcatel-Lucent
Operators, consumers and application developers are fully interconnected in the mobile world. Yet they rarely recognize the impact they have on each other. That’s why Alcatel-Lucent has released its Mobile Application Rankings report — to increase awareness among consumers and the mobile industry and to promote app optimization. Here’s a sampling of the “blind spots” the report addresses: