Wireless Bubble?

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Looks like things are finally getting out of hand. Charlie emailed me this link from The Guardian, which puts the value of forthcoming IPO of Virgin Mobile UK at around $1.75 billion.

bq. Insiders at Virgin believe that unless the market suffers a considerable correction, Virgin Mobile will float in the summer. Investment banks JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Investec, instrumental in the formation of the company in the first place, are rumoured to be the likely flotation advisers and brokers. A public listing of Virgin Mobile, which has nearly 4 million customers in Britain, will give Sir Richard the financial firepower to launch an airline in America, a dream he has held for almost a decade. It will also see T-Mobile, Virgin’s former partner in Virgin Mobile, reap £100m following its out of court settlement with the firm this year.

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Do have a look at the attached url from ventureblog which shows US wirelessARPU is higher than other countries inspite of low usage..


In the United States, the wireless carriers got cold feet about “losing control of the customer” and tried to control what was rolled out to consumers. Many carriers came out of the wireline telecoms world — Baby Bells that ran lines to your house. In that world, long distance and data services became commodities. People switch them out whenever a cheaper, better one comes along. They saw the same thing happening in Europe and Asia. Conventional wisdom says that the way to prevent that from happening in the wireless world is to ensure the carrier controls and profits from every application that comes out over their service.

Conventional wisdom killed m-Commerce.

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