There’s trouble in Mobile Earth. Or so it appeared at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. Darkness is spreading throughout the networks, as the twin towers of Apple and Android continue to suck application developers into their empires. But help was at hand. Step forward those plucky little hobbits at the GSM Association. Prior to the Conference their ivory burrow had been echoing to the sound of furry feet as they hastily put together the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) to thwart those twin evils of the cellular world.
ARPU is precious. Brand is even more precious. As without that, you’re just a data pipe. But both are fading. The only thing that consumers appear to value these days is downloadable apps, and lots of them. Last year at MWC, every operator was busy launching their own Apps Store. A year on, the cellular shires have realised fighting alone didn’t work, so they’ve banded together to pit their combined forces against the dark empire.
It’s an odd alliance, and probably one that is doomed to failure.