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European Mobile Companies don’t understand that they’re just data pipes

Emily spotted this one — the text below is a quote from the Telegraph’s article about European mobile companies apparently considering a rival to Google.

Link: European Mobile giants plot secret rival to Google

“Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Hutchison Whampoa, Telecom Italia and one American network, Cingular, are among the companies that will come together for secret, high-level talks at the mobile industry’s biggest annual trade show in Barcelona next week.

The initiative will come as a surprise to Google and Yahoo!, which have lost no time in striking deals with mobile operators and handset makers. But the mobile industry believes it can retain a greater share of advertising revenues by developing its own service.

… It is not clear what the implications are for existing deals between networks and the big US search companies.”

Well, get over yourselves, I think, is my first response to this rumour.

It smacks of reality though. I really can imagine the big mobile CEOs all sat in a room, cigar smoke all over the place, each nodding in consent to the ‘plot’ to create a rival to Google. 😉

They’ll have looked at the revenue projections knocked up, no doubt, by a few Accenture consultants, showing that their ARPUs are generally going to become stagnant in the context of a) fixed-data packages and b) explosive growth in mobile search.

Now, in order for mobile search to WORK, you have to have a rather good SEARCH ENGINE.

To put this in context, Yahoo, who know a thing or two about ‘search’, can’t even get it’s search engine working properly. If you don’t believe me, see my post a wee while ago about Yahoo returning a link to the Times’ Cinema in Milkwaukee, USA when I searched for ‘cinema times’. Then read the post about the equivalent search working perfectly via Google. That’s just a worked-example of a real life problem I encountered. I’m sure there are a few good points to Yahoo. However, I, like a trillion other users, prefer Google, because, well, it works first time.

So to the ‘European Mobile Companies’ reportedly arsing around with making their own search engine, please don’t. Don’t bother. License Google or do a better deal with them and concentrate on what you’re mostly good at, voice and data to mobile devices. Of course, if they’ve come up with some astounding new way of archiving the internet, brilliant. Launch it and let’s get a look. But if it’s a second rate Vizzavi-wannabe, well…….


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