Posts on Mobile



June 11, 2007

Flat Rate Mobile Internet Arrives in the UK
Category: Mobile

orange

vodafone

Orange mobile, together with other UK mobile networks, have launched flat tariff for internet browsing in the UK. The orange offer is 5 a month, or 8 to be able to browse during the day too. An improvement on Vodafone's offers flat rate of 30 a month. Orange's tariff extends to pre-pay customers for the first time.

Both offers have capped total daily data consumption to 30 and 15Mbytes respectively. Bandwidth quality remains uncertain, which impacts VOIP applications and skype-mobile, but email and texting should not be affected. In spite of the initial limitations, once users start browsing on their mobile, the mobile flat rate fight will no doubt drive prices down.

As with home connections, mobile flat rate internet changes mobile usage. Myself, for instance, I use my browser and web bookmarks more, plus I download application like free text messaging, hotxt, and other Instant Messaging services to replace my SMS.

Mobile operators, stand to loose significantly if users bypass their voice and SMS services. Just like land-line operators are loosing to skype and VOIP services. In an attempt to control mobile usage, operators pre-install their own web services on phones, the same way Microsoft pre-installs Internet Explorer on windows. Google's mobile department has been fighting to get Google mobile search pre-installed on phones, with mixed success.

[The Register]

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November 3, 2006

Google Launches Mobile Web Search
Category: Mobile

google mobile

Google has just extended its Mobile web service, with amongst other things, mobile-web search. The mobile-web search page lists only true mobile-web pages; xhtml, imode or wap formats. Mobile phone users now see mobile-readable pages only. The service is a big improvement on the initial service which provided xhtml translations of normal web pages.

Google's new launch comes a month after the launch of the .mobi top level domain categories which are reserved for mobile-phone only web sites. Dot-mobi will be the first top-level domain to require its customers to stick to rules on how their users' websites are developed. The mobile-web pages must conform to the following:

  • Responses to URLs must be encoded in XHTML (WAP 2.0). This is to ensure the premium usability of the site for visitors using their mobile devices.
  • .MOBI sites must implement a page at the second level domain. This is to eliminate the need to type in www when browsing .mobi sites from a mobile device. For example, the web server should be able to respond to HTTP requests to www.mydomainname.com and to mydomainname.com.
  • No frames

Check out Eucap incubation team's first experiment of a mobile service mobile weather forecast.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also redoubling its efforts to standardize mobile web content languages. The aim is he mobile-web to be as easily accessible as the world wide web. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet protocols html-http, is prioritizing the new mobile web xhtml protocol just as much as the standard internet protocol html.

ask mobile

Not to be outdone, competing search service, Ask, has also launched its mobile.ask.com. Unfortunately, Ask has yet to index the mobile-web, it is still providing a mobile-format translation of normal web sites. A much poorer service.

Mobile-web Advertising

Just to confirm the mobile-web is coming of age, mobile-web advertising has also arrived. Google now provides Adwords for mobile advertising. Google's main mobile advertising competitor, Admobs.com, is boasting of over 200m mobile page impressions a month on their network of mobile web sites. Our tests show CPC and CPMs are still comparatively low, but the potential is huge.

Unlocking Mobile Phones for the Entire Mobile Web

Another issue for mobile web browsers is that mobile phone operators control the home page sites menus displayed on each mobile device. The user has a very limited range of sites that he can easily access. However with the new generation of smartphones and 3G, phone owners should recover control of their browsing, and surfing on a mobile should open fully to the entire mobile-web.

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July 18, 2006

Google to Locate its Mobile Innovation in London
Category: Mobile

London is to be the hub for mobile innovation for Google, Deep Nishar, Google's director of wireless told Times Online. Mr Nishar has no doubts about the size of the global mobile market:

“You only have to look at the global trends for mobile use and PC use to see where our business is going,” said Mr Nishar. “In India, mobile-phone ownership outweighs PC ownership by a ratio of two to one. And there are five million more mobile-phone users coming online every month. By the end of this year there will be more mobile phones in India than in America.

In Britain there is one mobile phone for every person, while in some parts of Scandinavia mobile ownership is almost double that rate. “Looking at these numbers, it becomes very obvious that in the future people will want to access information on the web with a device they carry with them.

According to Mr Nishar, Google is reorganising the way it presents search results on the internet to conform better with mobiles. The research is badly needed as Google's current mobile search service lags behind others in quality.

Google's biggest problem is that the mobile search index is not populated with native xhtml (WAP 2.0), mobile content, but rather by wap 2.0 translations of normal web pages. The resulting mobile content served from Google caches is poor to the point of unusable.

Enclick provides mobile weather forecast service, which is one of only a handful in the world. Yet Google has trouble ranking and prioritizing a quality weather forecast in its mobile search, serving a cached translation of html content instead.

It is time to move onto the full WAP2.0 standard.

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About Eucap

Mobile

The bulk of future internet access will come from Mobile devices. Such are the predictions of technology visionaries. Mobile industry is moving from offering voice connection to data connections. Starting with text messages in the form of SMS, the mobile phone is becoming the vehicle for communicating through more sophisticated forms of data.

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