9/24/2009 5:00:00 PM
Vodafone to open ‘360’ service to users of all networks in ‘trojan horse’ attack on rivals
Vodafone revealed its social network-based ‘360’ service will be made available to users of all networks, and admitted ambitions to take content and application revenue from its rival operators.
Users of any network will be able to download a Vodafone 360 application when the service is released in the forth quarter of this year.
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 Vodafone’s new app store (also announced under the 360 umbrella) virtually at the touch of a button.
Asked if ‘360’ would be used as a ‘trojan horse’ to take revenue from rival operators, Pieter Knook, director of internet services, replied: ‘Yes, you could certainly say that.’
Knook also emphasised that 360 is a tool to improve customer retention in the face of competition from Apple, Google and Nokia Ovi.
Vodafone revealed that around 10% of Vodafone’s revenue is earned through data usage, and that 40% of page views were on social network sites.
How does Vodafone 360 work?
Vodafone 360 is a raft of internet based services that are synchronised between the users 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.
The address book is the service’s core, displaying statuses and profile pictures alongside 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 – through which they can broadcast their location to selected contacts.
360 also offers various photo options, including geo-tagging of pictures and automatically uploading pictures to their 360 or other social network profile pages.
Users can create user groups to whom they can authorize access, so for example, friends might be given access to certain photos that work colleagues might be denied access to.
Users can register through www.360.com , or buy the Vodafone 360 application on iTunes.
The service will come pre-loaded on two Vodafone-exclusive Samsung devices at launch. Only one was announced today – the Vodafone 360 H1. It will also be available pre-loaded on four Nokia devices with Symbian operating systems.
The service will also be available for download on over 100 other existing devices.
Vodafone 360 is the replacement of Vodafone Live, which was launched in 2002.