Tag Archives: MobiLife

From (mobile) walled gardens to carriers stores

Verizon Wireless came up with a series of announcements geared to new revenue streams in the emerging world of the mobile cloud and open web services. As well as its M2M venture with Qualcomm, it hosted its first developer conference, showing off the Vcast application store and throwing open the doors to its traditionally tightly guarded network. “Our future success is no longer in the walled garden,” Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told the developers gathered in Silicon Valley.


“It’s a new day [in wireless],” McAdam said in his keynote and webcast to developers. “Our success is tied to you.” He stressed the advantages that carriers stores – as opposed to those from device or software makers like Apple, Microsoft and Google – bring to programmers, notably access to mobile subscribers and their personal data and preferences, plus a familiar billing platform. Like Vodafone, the US cellco is creating open APIs to allow developers to hook into Verizon’s billing system, to support one-click purchasing, and into other subscriber platforms within the network, such as location-based services, presence, and messaging.

via Vcast store finally destroys walled garden at Verizon – Rethink Wireless.

Having just posted about Vodafone Live! death, I couldn’t resist to quote again from Rethink Wireless on another “walled garden” happy end. So, now it’s “carriers stores” time. They are expected to offer some concrete advantages over the leading Apple Store and other followers, in terms of telecom-specific features (if I got it right, the money for the developer would be the same 70%). On a personal note: the Live! news brought me back to MobiLife business modelling times; this one to the SPICE business modelling work, with smart people at IBBT, NTNU, Telenor, Telecom Italia and Telefonica.

(Vodafone) Live! is dead

Vodafone is to dump its once all-important Live brand as it revamps its mobile web strategy […]

Vodafone Live was a ground breaker in its time, making the cellco the first major outside the Far East to recognize that it needed to associate itself with a software experience and web portal. But its operator-centric approach still clung to the walled garden, and has become old-fashioned in the world of app stores and open web services. Now Vodafone will adopt a new portal structure and brand – the unoriginal My Web – boasting all the features that the modern consumer supposedly wants, such as personalization and integration of social networking and messaging.

via Vodafone drops Live brand as European cellcos regroup – Rethink Wireless

Big news for me and everyone I think following mobile business / mobile design things. Vodafone Live! has been one of the biggest operator-led service ventures over the last few years (in Europe — note the careful distinction about the Far East above). It started in 2002. At that time I was dropping extra office hours with Neos friends to get onboard the MobiLife proposal and consortium, and we made it. Then, as I was working on business models with MobiLife folks in 2004-2006, we often made references to Live! as a typical operator-driven model, quite far away from the opennes envisioned in the project. Now let’s see how the new My Web will look like.

Attended CHI 2008 in Firenze

Conference bags
“Preparing the conference bags” by Andrea Wiggins a.k.a. anikarenina on Flickr CC license

Right after HCIed 2008 in Roma, I moved to Firenze for CHI 2008. Five days of good, dense stuff, very interesting papers presentations (including a nicely critical set at alt.chi and a panel on “harmful evaluations” with Saul Greenberg and others), design theater performances and the closing plenary with Bill Buxton, plus the course on “Mobile Interaction Principles” from Matt Jones and Gary Marsden (authors of “Mobile Interaction Design”), and the second half of the course on HCI and CHI history from Jonathan Grudin. Among others, nice chats with Finnish friends and former MobiLife project colleagues Esko Kurvinen (now at Elisa, was HIIT) and Petteri Nurmi (HIIT), but also with Luca Chittaro (Universit√† di Udine) and Fabio Patern√≤ (CNR). I was there with Neos colleague Dario Melpignano (and we did take note on research results very much in line with Neos mobc3 design approach).