O2 UK and its Spanish parent Telefónica immediately shut the door on talk of the networks becoming utility pipes, delivering airtime as manufacturer brands and specialist agencies start to take possession of mobile content development and provision.
In fact, O2 reckons it is about to become more relevant to customers than ever before, assuming the role of content aggregator and distributor.
It is investing huge amounts of money into strategic content alliances and research programmes to place it at the core of innovation in the mobile content space.
Telefónica’s chief aim is to grow its European customer base by more than 40 per cent by 2010, and grow data ARPU in the UK and Germany by 25 per cent in the same time frame.
In the UK, O2 has taken steps to harness the creative and technical abilities of software developers through the creation of a developer community; O2 Litmus.
Through Litmus, the network will connect developers to O2 customers it has identified as ‘early adopters’ in order to test applications, content and services. The idea is their feedback will influence final content form and rollout to O2 UK’s customer base, and Telefónica’s base beyond.
The beta test of the Litmus programme launches in the UK later this year.
O2 UK customer director Tim Sefton (pictured right) says Telefónica doesn’t have all the answers – nor all the ideas – when it comes to content, services and applications, which is why it is going down this road.
"We’re not in a position to think of all the ways people want to use mobile, in terms of future applications," he explains.
Full story in Mobile News issue 418 (July 14, 2008).
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