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Why cell phone service should be free in future?

November 19, 2009

With the current pace of Web 2.0 and social media technologies, I believe that in a matter of 2-3 years cell phone services will be offered for free or for minimal charge for the following reasons:

  1. The mobile platform and technologies are growing at fast speed. The downloads of mobile apps and their user friendliness are a good indicator of that.
  2. With Web 3.0 technology, companies would be able to monitor what people are talking/ chatting etc. about with their peers or just searching. Not only that, companies would be able to acquire those intelligent data repositories and make sense out of it for specific customer needs and wants.
  3. The next step is to capitalize on that information and mobile platform is the best for that since people are always closest to their cell phones.
  4. This is where the companies would be advertising their products in a real time framework. For example: If you need a toy for a kid in your family and you are talking about it or searching it online, realizing the need for those marketers is that intelligent data. Then the key is to advertise it when that person is let’s say in a mall which could be as simple as a reminder or notification that the best deal in town for that toy is in that mall.
  5. With that, marketers could focus on the customers especially, impulsive buyers which is a huge market and convert their advertisement into a sale.
  6. Once a few companies start doing that, others will follow.
  7. Some consumers might not see immediate advantage of that and might think of creating a “Don Advertise on My Cell Phone Registry” which would mean catering to a smaller market segment.
  8. In that case, for companies it will become more advantageous to adjust their advertising dollars on mobile ads rather than traditional media.
  9. We are talking about the same concept as newspapers or TV where consumers might be willing to look at those ads if the cell phone charges are free or minimal.

Of course, the option of paying the full cell phone service fee and have no ads on their cell phones should be an option for those who want it like that. But given the current economic conditions or lack of boom time in future will also stimulate people to take this offer.

As always, your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. tim permalink
    November 20, 2009 7:20 AM

    I believe Google already spoke of this idea. I think the model won’t be so much “free” as it will those who pay will be less constrained by advertising models that will be baked into the “free” service.

    I have serious doubts about models though, most people would rather not have their dialogue constrained by advertising models. What will be interesting though is if the providers get into the behavioral model where they build into the term of service for some users, the ability to record/analyze/market based on actual conversations that people have. Scary proposition, but i think it’s natural evolution for this type of service.

  2. November 20, 2009 10:10 AM

    Interesting concept that cell companies move from a subscription business model to an advertising model. I’m wondering if instead of moving that route if there would be a push toward consolidation like we’ve seen in the Internet Service Provider/Cable TV/Phone bundling?

    The real time advertising based on current location seems a lot like the advertising seen in the Tom Cruise movie “The Minority Report”. I think there are significant privacy concerns that would have to be overcome. A handful of incidents would most likely result in knee-jerk legislation that would impact innovation. To take advantage of the new technology (and avoid overkill legislative oversight) we need the private sector to consider privacy issues before implementation, not after.

    • November 20, 2009 2:25 PM

      Paul, has government legislation ever increased productivity or innovation?? You are right its time for corporations to take social responsibility and address this issue before government does. But then again, glitches might happen even with that corporate oversight and who is perfect……I know government isn’t.

  3. November 20, 2009 5:23 PM

    Never heard of this before, Nitin. When will I get my TV for free? Keep up the great work!


    • November 20, 2009 8:48 PM

      Thanks for the comment Bret. Well the idea here is that we are currently getting our TV and newspapers for minimal costs….if not for advertising, a gentleman told me, daily Wall street print edition should cost us about $20.

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