Light Reading
If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium! Do the i-mode folk have a hidden appreciation of naff 1960s movies?

Brussels Sprouts I-Mode

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
10/15/2002
50%
50%

How many of you have seen the movie If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, the 1969 "adventure comedy" that offers viewers a glimpse of the sartorial splendors of 1969?

Unstrung was reminded of this celluloid gem today (Tuesday!) when Belgian operator BASE announced the immediate availability of i-mode services throughout the country for €6 ($5.88) a month (see I-mode Gets on BASE).

BASE becomes the third mobile operator to launch the European version of NTT DoCoMo Inc.'s (NYSE: DCM) popular Japanese service, following its parent KPN Mobile, which launched in April, and fellow KPN Mobile subsidiary E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, which launched in March. KPN Mobile has a license to use an i-mode platform from DoCoMo, which owns a 20 percent stake in KPN Mobile, though the Asian giant recently wrote it down to zero (see DoCoMo Takes a $4.7B Hit).

French operator Bouygues Telecom is set to be the fourth Euro i-mode player, and is hoping to launch in time to catch the pre-Christmas market, though it has a self-imposed deadline of next April (see NEC Bags Euro I-Mode Deal).

Industry analysts believe the simple, consumer-focused services that comprise the i-mode offer -- accessing various content such as weather reports, sports scores, and share prices, as well as playing games and sending emails of up to 1,000 characters -- will attract and retain customers as well as prepare them for the more advanced services the operators plan to offer across their 3G networks. I-mode services are accessed via GPRS connections. BASE was awarded a UMTS license for Belgium in March 2001 at a cost of €150 million.

Now that BASE has finally started service -- June was the original launch date -- KPN Mobile is hoping that uptake of the service in Belgium will help it towards its goal of having 1 million i-mode users across the group by the end of 2003. The latest figures KPN Mobile released for i-mode usage were in August, when the running total was 100,000 (see I-Mode Use Doubles in Europe). "We have no milestones between now and the end of next year," says KPN Mobile spokeswoman Carla van Lomwel. "Our next update will be on November 15. All I can say is that we are still confident of reaching 1 million. Subscriber levels are doing as well as can be expected."

The boys and girls at BASE don't have their own target -- or not one they're talking about, anyway. And the operator is taking a less full-on approach to marketing than its parent, which ran a high-profile TV campaign when it launched its i-mode service. "We are focusing on very specific target groups, and will rely on a mouth-to mouth campaign [ed. note: trying to resuscitate the market?] -- an underground approach," says Bart Vandesompele, external communication manager at BASE. "This will be supported by a campaign of a more modest nature" [than KPN Mobile's].

BASE would welcome any boost to its subscriber, er, base. It currently has 1,150,000 subscribers (14 percent market share), up from 1 million in December 2001. The i-mode service will be launched with one handset from NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY), the n21i, "equipped with dual browser to view i-mode-compatible HTML and WML1.X content." BASE has 43 shops throughout the country, though this number is set to increase shortly.

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
www.unstrung.com

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Gigabit Nets Boost GDP, Says FTTH Council
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed