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Q&A with Jote Bassi of Anam

Jote

We recently had a chance to sit down with Jote Bassi of Anam to give him our Mobile Industry Review Q&A, here’s what Jote had to say!

What was your first handset and can you remember what network you were on?
I think it was a Motorola StarTAC on the Vodafone UK network

Describe your current mobile setup.
Well I can’t live without my BlackBerry Pearl and can’t get over how great it is to be able to access and send emails wherever I am. I am also a big fan of T-Mobile having worked there and seen the launch of some excellent data tariffs such as their Web n Walk package.

Can you give us an overview of what Anam does?
It’s very simple, Anam started off life as a supplier of the underlying nuts and bolts technology for SMS. This initial experience and know-how means that we now have developed and launched additional applications (Smart Services) for SMS which mean more use from SMS for consumers, and more money for Mobile Operators.

We really believe that SMS is big and here to stay as a technology. It’s our belief that there is still a huge amount of financial growth left in the SMS market for operators if they introduce the right kind of services. Mobile Industry Review readers may be heavy mobile data users and very confident loading new applications onto their handsets, but the majority of normal users are not comfortable with mobile data and new applications. Yet they are very comfortable with SMS. If some of these newer applications can be delivered through SMS, subscribers will be be happy, the use and perceived value of SMS will rise and the operators will be able to generate additional revenues.

What are your key clients and services?
We work with a range of mobile operators globally and the most recent that we announced deals with were Telus and Telenor.

Our services fall into 3 main areas, the first is Money Transfer – the ability to send money by simply sending an SMS, that could be sent to a contact in your address book or used to top-up the credit on your phone; the second area is Mobile Social Networking – using your phone to engage with your network of friends and colleagues, for example by using SMS to maintain an IM conversation, or by SMS networking; the third area we work in is providing SMS infrastructure, like the recent Anti-SPAM solution we have deployed with Telenor.

What’s your personal background?
I have worked for a number of leading companies and large brands including AT&T, SunSystems, UPS and Nortel in various marketing and sales roles.

Before I joined Anam, I was a member of the marketing team at T-Mobile that launched a range of new voice and data propositions to consumers and businesses. I was heavily involved in T-Mobile’s launch of mobile email and other mobile applications, including Sat Nav.

How did you end up with Anam?
I wanted to broaden my career in the dynamic world of mobile messaging and data services and luckily there was an opportunity to do this by joining a well proven and nimble organisation called Anam

What do you think is right with the mobile industry?
I am proud to work in the mobile industry and one of the things which is definitely right (and exciting) is how our mobile devices are evolving towards effectively becoming our mobile PC and more. This is because of the enhancements to simple, existing applications and technology as well as the introduction of new ones.

And what’s wrong with the mobile industry?
One of the things that I would point to is the fact that sometimes the industry can try and move forward without taking its customers with it. This is usually through over-complication of features as well as price plans and tariffs. WAP was a great example of this. We in the mobile industry need to think about applying the “mum” test to everything we want to launch ie could you explain what it is to your mum in 30 seconds – and would she know how to use it in the end.

Can you rate the UK network providers in terms of their adoption of advanced SMS services?
The UK is a very innovative and competitive mobile market and I would say that pretty much all the big operators have good SMS services. I do also believe that they are looking to expand on these services and secure more data revenue from SMS.

Can you pick 3 people that you admire and rate in the mobile industry.
There are some pretty clever and interesting people in our industry but people I admire the most are the founders and innovators in the industry:
1. The inventors of BlackBerry
2. The Pricing teams behind the first flat rate data tariffs
3. The Engineering teams who are providing the innovations and exciting applications for SMS

What services do you use the most on your handset?
Email and Mobile Internet

If you had to buy a new mobile handset tomorrow, what would you get?
No not an iPhone but another BlackBerry Pearl but with Sat Nav

What’s the last thing you saw at the cinema?
I am Legend

What’s your ringtone? What wallpaper (if any) do you use for your handset?
Classic phone and no wallpaper

What sites do you read to keep up to date with what’s going on in the mobile industry?
Mobile Industry Review, The Register, Silicon Republic, Mobile Europe, The Economist

Anything else we should know about you or Anam?
I think that about covers it.

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