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<nettime> united we sms, divided we email digest [sgp, campion]
nettime's_big_thumb on Mon, 13 Jan 2003 22:18:01 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> united we sms, divided we email digest [sgp, campion]


Re: Koerner: Why American teens don't want the new cell phones
     "sgp" <somebody {AT} sgp-7.net>
     sebastian campion <campion {AT} nonplace.com>

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From: "sgp" <somebody {AT} sgp-7.net>
To: <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Subject: Re: Koerner: Why American teens don't want the new cell phones
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 00:15:31 -0500

hi all,
Interesting thread.
I just want to add that I recently was told, but can't independently find
the source, that it was now possible to send text msgs to users of different
providers than your own in the US. (My phone only receives them so I can't
test it!!) So that provider incompatibility argument seems to be gone. But
only recently. We'll see if it has any effect. Previous to this change,
according to my students, it was possible to send text msgs to users of
different providers using a work-around solution where you dialed a special
number prior to the number of the recipient. A number of "bridge" solutions
were apparently available like this.
Best,
[sgp]

----- Original Message -----
from: "Don" <donhome {AT} mudgeeab.com.au>
to: <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
sent: Sunday, January 12, 2003 9:57 PM
subject: Re: <nettime> Koerner: Why American teens don't want the new cell
phones

> Hi Francis,
>
> I was more than a little surprised to read a few months ago of just how
 <...>

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Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 16:05:25 +0100
From: sebastian campion <campion {AT} nonplace.com>
Subject: Re: Koerner: Why American teens don't want the new cell
  phones

Francis,

If you're interested in the development of GSM I can recommend this 
link that explains how, and why, it  became a standard. - Basically, 
in the course of the 80's European operators and governments realized 
that collaboration and long term strategies would be more beneficial 
and profitable than restricted local  solutions.
http://www.gsmworld.com/about/history/index.shtml

Btw:
I don't think you can compare the mobile communication industry in 
Japan with the rest of the world for very simple reasons.
First of all, I-mode was introduced in Japan at a time when email was 
not (yet) a killerapp mainly because of low PC penetration. So that 
market of was basically ready to be invaded.
Furthermore, the Japanese, especially teenagers, consider their 
phones not only as communication or tribal configuration devices but 
also as toys, pets or fashion objects  ( I-mode was actually 
developed by a woman and designed to be playful). I remember meeting 
a Japanese girl a few years ago at Ars Electronica in Austria who was 
'wearing' and 'caressing'  her mobile phone although it was 
disconnected from all features and completely useless as a telephone.
The wireless 'microcontent' you are referring to is in general 
something that seems more suitable for the Japanese culture than the 
EU/US. As far as I know it takes only two Japanese characters to 
write 'Sushi'. - No need to explain why that's an advantage when 
typing and navigating within tight constraints!

Still, as you have experienced yourself, SMS is extremely popular in 
Europe basically because (as you also suggest) it's a shared standard 
and a technology available to anyone with a mobile phone.
As you may know, SMS was originally meant to be a business service, 
which failed, but got discovered and quickly adopted by Scandinavian 
teenagers  despite of its limitations and high costs. Consequently, 
the operators realized that low SMS  rates would be more profitable 
because it stimulated mass consumption. - About the same time (1998) 
Nokia spotted the golden opportunity and started introducing 
lifestyle phones and features for the younger mass market.
So, thanks to the GSM association and teenage guerilla-innovation we 
have relatively low SMS costs in Europe today although, last time I 
checked, sending an SMS in the Netherlands was still 2-3 times more 
expensive than in Denmark. (but that's another story and cannot be 
explained by a lack of Dutch teenagers!)
I think you will be happy to know that, apparently, I-mode 
(KPN-mobile) have failed in The Netherlands/Belgium/Germany since its 
introduction 8-9 months ago. They started out selling really 
expensive phones with high  subscription rates but now you can get 
both for almost nothing.
I-mode just seems to be too self-contained for Europeans accustomed 
to GSM - perhaps DoCoMo and KPN should have used some common 
teenage-sense before investing a fortune in the market....

Best,

Sebastian Campion.

>I think there are a lot of structural reasons that USians don't use SMS
>and other kind of non-voice apps on their cell phones. Many of the reasons
>are cultural, but just as many have to do with law, engineering, and
>business.
 <...>

-- 

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