The annual CTIA event is underway – like spring break for telco geeks – this week in Orlando and the PR is flowing. While there is predictable hype surrounding mobile tv and m-commerce, it’s satisfying to see that indeed the industry over-seas is beginning to embrace the functions and services we have seen developed and deployed here in Japan over the last few years. Now of the course the trick is, after the chatter, what happens next. As they say “the devil’s in the details” so time will tell, but it really does seem that things are warming up under the Florida sun!
We note that BusinessWeek is bullish on DoCoMo exporting their experience in the m-commerce space, as we’ve stated since the first Felica trials here in late 2003 (and launch in 2004) “this is going to be huge”. However the American banking and government regulatory systems, not to mention established interests and device fragmentation, might make things a little more challenging. That being said, there is a serious amount of money at stake which tends to add focus and urgency.
Visa USA President and CEO John Philip Coghlan said in his keynote address:
“Given the striking similarities in the paths our two industries have traveled, it is only natural we have arrived at a moment of convergence.. in fact, the convergence of payments and mobile communications is not just logical – it is inevitable.”
Japanese companies from Kyocera down the long list could indeed finally begin to harvest some of their IP and lessons learned, the key will be finding good local partners who can help navigate the terrain. It should seem pretty clear that from ring-tones and wallpapers to camera-phones and music, the evolution of mobile tv and mobile payments will also make the leap over-seas.
Some may believe that What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but, when it comes to mobile, what happens in Tokyo appears to be a different matter indeed.