Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mobile Services: Prodigy, CompuServe and AOL

Back in the late 80's and early 90's I had, at one point, all three of the early online services. At some point around 91 I learned how to type in Vi and switched to the "real" internet. Those walled garden services and proprietary email systems made the online experience a limited service value.

Wireless carriers in the US are slowing moving out of a similar closed service offering. I can finally send IM's to people outside of my carrier (most of the time.) However, content and applications are still walled up for many users.

One of the speakers at CTIA/MECCA was Andrew Bud of Mblox. Andrew had a number of interesting points about mobile content in the EU and Asia. He said that up to 70% of carrier's data revenue comes from off portal, third party content sales.

As US carriers move towards more content partnerships I think the whole market will benefit from greater variety and more engaging experiences than they can create on their own.