Technology Guardian has an opinion piece by Victor Keegan that highlights some interesting data about the Mobile Internet. He outlines that the reason that the mobile web is more important than the fixed one is that it comes with its own built in payment mechanism. It is this fact that means that the Crazy Frog made more money than all of iTunes in 2006.
The problem is that the cost of transit is a key element of the $31Bn revenues and just like the net did not take off until broadband and unlimited the lack of unlimited net access is holding back development. Whilst I agree that this may be true, I also contend just how many Mobile Users ask for a data package; if you get to see the internal numbers for some of the networks the fact that they have added millions of new accounts in the last year is not reflected in how many of those have taken a data account to go with it. I still contend that most people want a phone just to send texts and make calls. If it was a price issue then those in the mobile networks could fix it by opening the mobile web, know that unlikely the fixed operators they would still make money thanks to their control of the payments platform.
Today's Economist has a feature about the rise of the ebook on your mobile in Japan, the print edition shows a row of women reading the screens of their mobile phones. The market has sprung up over the last five years to the point that it is now worth $82m a year and is still growing fast. Whilst the use of Mobile Data in the Far East is important I have learnt that the fact that using your mobile to make a call on in public is not something that is seen as polite, a large number of the public commute for over three hours a day and that the housing situation means that denisity levels are close to a battery farm all mean that shaping a business on what happens in Japen or Korea is a very high risk.