Vodafone to control handset software

Vodafone will install their own proprietary software on its new handsets from all the largest equipment makers, including market leader Nokia, the Wall Street Journal reported citing unidentified sources. The move consolidates Vodafone’s push to rollout their answer to DoCoMo’s i-mode service, called Vodafone Live! through modelling their subsidiary J-Phone’s J-Sky service in Japan.

The UK-based group aims at having all the handsets work in the same way, the report said. Nokia will keep its brand on handsets and run the software, which will apply to picture messaging, games and location-based services to be introduced by Vodafone next month, the newspaper said.

Written by W2Forum for PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence.


Details of Vodafone Live are filtering out ahead of the October launch. Apparently Vodafone has been proposing 60/40 revenue sharing agreements with content providers and plans to charge a GBP 5 subscription fee for access to the service. The revenue split offered by i-Mode is significantly more favourable and the user access fee considerably lower.

If these figures are true then Vodafone is making an error. It should be encouraging content providers with a revenue split nearer to 90/10. Vodafone has spoken to PMN about ‘showing leadership’ in the development of mobile internet services and making heavy investments short-term to establish a thriving mobile data market in the future. Punitive revenue sharing agreements and high access charges run contrary to this goal.

Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.

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