Orange Sees Green in Mobile Broadband
Service providers "can seize this opportunity and turn it into real revenue and real profit for all of us," Ahuja said. "We have a role to play in facilitating the creation of entertainment the same way we facilitated communication."
Inspired by a mobile-blog site in Korea, Orange took a plunge into user-generated content by launching Orange Blog, a site where users can upload videos and photos from a mobile phone, adding other content and text as needed. This has resulted in 65,000 blogs being created, comprising 1.2 million articles with 4.3 million comments -- which, all told, has led to more than 140 million page views, Ahuja said.
"One of the things discovered in this is, people want a chance to express themselves," Ahuja said.
Ahuja also noted that Orange believes in mobile TV. Admitting the format has screen-size limitations, he claimed 50 percent of Orange users are tuning in to mobile TV -- enough that TV accounts for 40 percent of broadband usage on Orange's network. "There is a significant appetite for this," he said. (See Mobile TV Gets Moving and Startups Make the Case for Mobile TV.)
Not every application is a mobile-services bonanza yet, though. Ahuja didn't touch on games, but speakers at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) said mobile games have been a disappointment outside Asia, in part because many users don't yet see their phones as robust gaming platforms. (See Is it 'Game Over' on 3G Networks?) Originally the wireless arm of Orange (NYSE: FTE), Orange was expanded last week to include FT's fixed broadband, IPTV, and business services units. (See FT Turns Orange.) — Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading