Thursday, May 24, 2007

Focusing on mobile

Well, the gossip and excitement of the stories we've been posting in the past couple of days has been generating record traffic. Thank you. Don't forget to click on those Google ads. Some expensive lunches are looming.

My last post on the mobile world was not a positive one when I bemoaned the news of China Mobile's availability on the summit of Everest. Today, however, I loop back to a familiar theme of business and media opportunities afforded by data services on the increasingly ubiquitous mobile phone in Asia.

Firstly, I read with interest the post on Web 2.0 Asia about Docomo's belated discovery of Web 2.0 in Japan. He talks of the way in which Softbank Mobile has woken up what was looking like an increasingly dozy Docomo:

For Docomo, the obvious pain in the neck is the fast-rising Softbank Mobile, which had long been regarded as the distant 3rd player (from its Vodafone KK years) but is now looking more like a real contender with its superb bang-for-the-buck packages. Many are surprised by how quickly Softbank Mobile has risen, but if you take a look at the programs offered by the Japanese carriers, you'd be surprised that so many people have NOT yet moved to Softbank Mobile. If you become a new SB Mobile subscriber, you can get a nice voice+data plan and a decent free handset at under $20 per month (based on a 2 year contract). That's of course in addition to the unlimited free calls with other SB Mobile users. That's ridiculously cheap, don't you think? Can you get this value in China?
Then, down in Singapore, but with a focus on China, Sun Business Network, finally rid of Bruno Wu, has made a new investment in China acquiring Delta Digital Limited for US$4.5 million. This involves a deal with Beijing Shi Tong Tian Xia Information Technology Co., Ltd (STTX) which has established partnerships with Xinhua News Agency, and Beijing Youth Daily to provide “push” News Services in China. STTX reportedlly wants to expand this type of service across SE Asia which is, presumably, where Sun Business comes in.

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