Mobility key to converged broadband world
By Frank Sixt
Published: November 6 2005 19:45 | Last updated: November 6 2005 19:45
[Vietnamese girl on a mobile phone]
Steve Jobs clearly believes in it, Rupert Murdoch wants a piece and Jorma Ollila has high hopes for it: the executives behind well-known companies such as Apple, News Corporation and Nokia agree that convergence has finally arrived in technology, media and telecommunications.
I think each of these leaders, icons in their industries, is telling us the same thing: the convergence of communications, media and the internet can no longer be ignored. In the global media and communications sector, technology has brought us again to one of those extraordinary inflection points where entirely new mass consumer product categories are created.
+ Commentary: Benton Foundation
[SOURCE: Financial Times, AUTHOR: Frank Sixt, Hutchison Whampoa ]
[Commentary] The convergence of communications, media and the Internet can no longer be ignored. In the global media and communications sector, technology has brought us again to one of those extraordinary inflection points where entirely new mass consumer product categories are created. If that sounds like hype, just pause for a second and try to remember the world before the Internet, before the mobile phone, before the Walkman, before multi-channel television. That was about 20 years ago. I believe that the distribution structure for Internet, media and communications products has already changed, and has changed for good. All the trends from the music industry, pay-per-view television and Internet search indicate that “mobile” is what users want. Mobiles are at the center of the converged world of communications, the Internet and media. We now find ourselves at a similar point to where television was in the late 1940s. In 1949, just 2 per cent of American households had a television set. Five years later, more than half of all Americans were glued to the box. Today, television is ubiquitous globally. But the winners of this new world order will not be all the “usual suspects”. A mobile operator that does not understand its consumers’ media needs will fail, as will a media operator that does not anticipate what customers want in mobility. An Internet operator that does not understand its customers’ needs in mobility will be off-line for much of the time that his customers are online. This will lead to important new alignments between the mobile, Internet and media worlds.