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Jonathan Jensen on Thursday – What I’m looking for from my favourite mobile companies in the New Year

As we head towards the end of the year I’ve been thinking about some of the mobile companies and applications I’ve looked at this year and what’s missing from their line up. So, I’ve highlighted the key service enhancement I’d like to see from each of them in 2009.

The mobile VoIP space is a particular favourite of mine because it offers low cost calling, service innovation and improved coverage (for me, anyway). 2008 has been an exciting year for new services – I’ve used a few of them and been very impressed with what each has to offer. However, no one out there has got the whole package for me yet. Truphone has added more platform support with iPhone, BlackBerry and now iPod Touch joining Nokia S60, plus Truphone Anywhere to deliver Truphone service outside WiFi coverage. I’m a big Truphone fan but the primary enhancement I’d like to see is flat rate tariffing to deliver simplicity and predictability. Ideally a range of tariffs offering the choice of in-country calling or international would be good. Another favourite at the moment, DeFi Mobile, launched this year with superb call quality and an all-inclusive international flat rate tariff. DeFi’s initial service line‑up includes almost everything I need, with some neat features like simultaneous ring and call forwarding included in the standard tariff. What’s missing? Inbound and outbound SMS on my UK 020 DeFi number is a must to give me a single mobile number across both voice and SMS.

Niche providers in the mobile space continue to challenge the rates charged by the big operators for international calling and roaming. Swap your SIM card over to MAXroam and get great rates when roaming, especially outside the EU. Now that the EU has mandated lower roaming voice rates and is looking at data, I’d like to see MAXroam come back with finer pricing for EU roaming. Rebtel delivers great pricing for international calls and it’s big plus is that it just works from any mobile handset – no software, no SIM card swapping. Local in‑country phone numbers are becoming more and more useful with a number of service providers starting to offer them for a small monthly fee. The ability to add an inbound number to my Rebtel account that delivers calls to one or more of my registered numbers would be a nice addition and another revenue stream for Rebtel.

SpinVox has shown us what the future of voice mail looks like with it’s speech to text product. I’m surprised that none of the big UK mobile operators has yet embedded SpinVox in their propositions, so I hope 2009 will be the year that one of the operators decides to differentiate their voice mail from their competitors. Inevitably pricing will be pivotal here so I hope everyone’s sharpening their pencils!

Lastly I’m going to mention Evernote. Evernote is now my preferred repository for notes and anything I want to remember in the future. I’d like to see Evernote implement greater consistency in functionality and the user interface across the various versions.

So guys, a few ideas and now it’s over to you!

Jonathan’s also at Sevendotzero.

10 replies on “Jonathan Jensen on Thursday – What I’m looking for from my favourite mobile companies in the New Year”

Always interesting stuff, Jonathan. My big issue is usability with Mobile VoIP. For example, I'm sat in a RoadChef — joy — at the moment. There's free wifi courtesy of the RoadChef chaps provided by BT Openzone. It's only free if you register and give them a valid name and address. It's a 15 second process on your laptop, but on your N95, that could be a bit of an arse… Things like this need to get entirely fixed before more people adopt the technology.

Hi Ewan – If you use DeFi Mobile the hotspot selection happens seamlessly 'under the bonnet'. Today my E51 roamed on & off WiFi hotspots seamlessly while I was out & then logged back on to my WiFi AP when I walked in the door at home.

Hi Ewan – If you use DeFi Mobile the hotspot selection happens seamlessly 'under the bonnet'. Today my E51 roamed on & off WiFi hotspots seamlessly while I was out & then logged back on to my WiFi AP when I walked in the door at home.

Hi Ewan – If you use DeFi Mobile the hotspot selection happens seamlessly 'under the bonnet'. Today my E51 roamed on & off WiFi hotspots seamlessly while I was out & then logged back on to my WiFi AP when I walked in the door at home.

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