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Summary:

MySpace’s mobile ambitions are moving across the pond and landing on Vodafone cell phones. The deal makes sense to the companies — Vodafone has been trying to boost its mobile data revenues, and MySpace needs a strong partner to get traction in Europe. The MySpace application […]

MySpace’s mobile ambitions are moving across the pond and landing on Vodafone cell phones. The deal makes sense to the companies — Vodafone has been trying to boost its mobile data revenues, and MySpace needs a strong partner to get traction in Europe.

The MySpace application for Vodafone will be similar to the one used by Cingular “with a few specifics at the back end to fit the network’s requirements,” says a MySpace spokesperson. I’ve been playing around with the Cingular MySpace app for a few months, and despite the fact that I really don’t want to pay $2.99 per month to use it, the application itself is pretty rich.


Vodafone didn’t disclose the pricing of its MySpace service, but the companies gave some details, like it will be available first in the U.K., pre-loaded on some Vodafone handsets and will also be available for download from Vodafone live. Maybe Vodafone will be smart and make it free, which could be a good way to boost data usage.

If you hate paying for Internet services that are free on your PC but cost on your phone, like I do, you should check out VCEL, a free service that has a MySpace mobile java application and a WAP site. I chatted over email recently with VCEL creater Sergey Lossev, a student on leave from UC Santa Barbara, whose MySpace page says he’s 21.

Lossev doesn’t think consumers should have to pay for MySpace mobile either, and had some smart stuff to say about the difficult value chain for mobile content:

We disagree with the current MNO/OEM/app provider value chain that results in Carriers dictating/choking innovation by the little guys, and always ends up premium charging the end user. Since day one we set out to prove that other bus[inesss] models are possible, models where needed services are free to the end users and supported by mobile ads (we are the internet generation kids that grew up with ads all over the internet for as long as we can remember).

Amen. All VCEL needs is a little more design work and some promotion to bring in users. The options aren’t as slick as the application for Cingular and soon Vodafone — but how can you pass up free?

  1. Too bad for VCEL that Myspace will enforce their TOS the second they read this post. VCEL are brave but this plan wont last…unfortunately

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  2. I like the sound of being able to access MySpace on my mobile but I hate paying for mobile internet so I don’t use it much. I wonder when this will be available on Vodafone New Zealand.

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  3. Can someone explain and/or post a link which explains what exactly the ‘MNO/OEM/app provider value chain’ is? I’d like to learn more about the way the mobile world works. Thanks in advance!

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  4. Winstonian,
    The current mobile value chain in the US is markedly different from the Web world. Specifically unlike the PC internet, the mobile data, voice, sms channels have very strict stewarts, The Big Four carriers (MNOs-mobile network operators) (Att,Verizon,etc). Furthermore, since carries also subsidize the cost of phones (unlike in Europe) they get to dictate to the Cellphone manufacturers (OEMs, e.g. Nokia) what is added or removed from new handsets entering the market. Thus, for the application vendors there is no room for maneuvering, since they get the least say in how to monetize and market their offerings. For the little guys its either play by the carrier rules, which choke innovation and put you in the back of a mile long line, or try and go completely off the carriers deck and figure out their own channels to market (a significant challenge). A high aim of mobile ad supported offerings is to show that free content drives adoption by the end users which in turn should shift at least some of the control from carriers and make the marketplace more open to innovation, like in the Web world. Hope this made at least some sense.
    Ad Astra,

    Sergey

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