3 targets location based services and Skype

3 targets location based services and     Skype

3 is to focus on social networking and location based services this year, and will expand its Skype based services, according to director of products and services Charlotte Blanchard.

Blanchard was a keen supporter of the 'Rage Against The Machine' campaign, which prevented musical entrepreneur Simon Cowell and his latest The X Factor protégé from dominating the 2009 Christmas hit list.

Her support came because the campaign underlined her belief in the power and potential of social networking sites.

Blanchard told Mobile: 'This is an example of how there is already a shift in the way people consume media and we can see great opportunities in that.

'We believe media consumption will be a social activity and we are already working towards that with Spotify, Twitter and Facebook. Going into 2010, we will keep agile and maintain the ability to act when these things explode. It is all about how we can capitalise on that.'

Blanchard recently attended the Mobilize 2009 conference in San Francisco, which looked at the future of the mobile web, and is now convinced that location based services on social applications will figure large this year.

 

With social applications accounting for 40% of mobile data usage, the revenues could be significant.

Blanchard said: 'Location is going to be key and that came over very strongly in California. There will be a lot of noise about location based services in 2010.'

She foresees a host of new location based apps being developed, built on the backbone of Layar, the groundbreaking augmented-reality browser.

Blanchard said 3 plans to increase its focus on internet services this year. 'We have already done an amazing job of building new services in music, video and gaming. We will continue to pick services we think will have strong momentum in the market.'

She pointed to its recent deal with Spotify as one area that 3 will expand this year. Announced in November, it saw the operator team up with Spotify to offer the music streaming service free on HTC Hero devices.

3 is also hoping to expand its Skype offering. Blanchard said predictions that Skype, which offers free calls, would hit the operator's revenues, were wrong.

She added that recent in-house research shows Skype customers are more profitable compared with 3's average customer. In addition, Blanchard said Skype 'is also good for churn, as what we have is unique in the market and customers value it and want to stay with us'.ge

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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