9/30/2009 12:01:00 PM
How will Vodafone 360 challenge rivals?
Vodafone unveiled ‘360’ last week, a new service designed to take on offerings from the likes of Apple, Google and Nokia Ovi.
What is Vodafone 360?
360 is the replacement for ‘Vodafone Live’, and is an umbrella of internet based services that are synchronised between the user’s phone and computer (www.360.com). The service brings together all contacts from the mobile phone, social networks and other internet accounts. These include Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk.
How does it work?
The address book is the service’s core, displaying status and profile pictures alongside a contact’s calling details. Twitter feeds will also be integrated into the service shortly after launch.
When users tap into a contact, they’re offered options to call, text, email, instant message and location nudge – a function that allows them to broadcast their location to selected contacts. 360 also offers various photo options, including geo-tagging of pictures and automatically uploading shots to their 360 or other social network profile pages.
Users can create groups to whom they can authorise access. For example, friends could be given access to certain photos that work colleagues might be denied access to.
Who can use it?
Anyone. Vodafone revealed on launch day that 360 will be made available to users of all networks. The open nature of the service means that an O2 user, for example, could communicate with contacts through the Vodafone service and buy applications from its new app store (also announced under the 360 umbrella), virtually at the touch of a button.
What devices will the service be compatible with?
The service will come pre-loaded on two Vodafone-exclusive Samsung devices at launch – the Vodafone 360 H1 (pictured above) and the M1. It will also be pre-loaded on four Nokia devices with Symbian operating systems, and can be downloaded on over 100 other existing devices.
Vodafone also plans to make 360 compatible with the iPhone, having now secured the device in the UK.
What kind of return is Vodafone hoping to get from 360?
It’s primarily a customer retention tool but by making it available to all users, Vodafone intends to take content and application revenue from its rival operators.