3GSM: Content & apps

Last year mobile television dominated the 3GSM conference and it will likely still generate a lot of interest again. However, there may be some negative news about mobile TV next week. We are expecting to see some interesting research from M:Metrics and Tellabs that suggests that in an average month, the number of former users of mobile video services actually outnumber the current users.

While many media outlets reported on the rumored meet-up between a dozen European carriers and Cingular/AT&T to discuss the creation of a new mobile search engine, the true heart of that story is that carriers are increasingly thinking about mobile advertising. Mobile search and mobile advertising will soon go hand-in-hand, and will likely be a hot topic next week. Weaker mobile search companies will forge strategic partnerships with others, while the white-label solution providers will announce more carrier wins across Europe. This will be the show that gives mobile advertising the industry’s seal of approval as the carriers discuss best practices, pricing and other outstanding issues.

On the music front, the ringback tone is emerging as a strong product. These snippets or full songs play for the caller instead of dial tone, and are chosen by the person receiving the call. At least one vendor at 3GSM is looking to milk the gaining popularity of the ringback tone by adding video into the mix: Vringo. The service allows the caller to watch a video captured or purchased by the person receiving the call. In a 3G world dominated by YouTube references, that sounds like an interesting application. -Brian

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