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Posts Tagged ‘Monternet’

china-unicomUpdate – June 10, 2009: Interesting factoid from Ultimi Barbarorum… China Unicom will be building 125,000 base stations in the first 12 months of their W-CDMA 3G network rollout. That’s more 3G base stations than all the operators in Western Europe have rolled out in the 9 years since the 3G wireless standard has been in existence.

Update – June 6, 2009: According to a June 5 report in 163.com, China Unicom is preparing to release “UPhone” handsets based on its “UniPlus” operating system (OS). UPhones will be “customized” handsets with the UniPlus OS (modified Android code) designed to support China Unicom’s wireless value-added services (WVAS). This strategy by China Unicom will mirror and match the path that China Mobile is taking with their OPhones – also “customized” handsets using a modified Android OS to support the carrier’s own wireless services (music, e-mail, chat/messaging, mobile apps, cloud storage, etc.).

Both China Mobile and China Unicom have seen how Apple’s iPhone has driven mobile data usage through its seamless OSX software integration with Apple’s compelling services platform (iTunes, App Store, etc.). With more competition on standard cellular rate plans, carriers are looking to “Appleize” (offer cool customized smartphones with a proprietary mobile OS designed to promote their own WVAS) to increase average revenues per user (ARPU). “Appleization” is much tougher and more expensive than it looks.

China Unicom is smart enough to know that UPhones and UniPlus (MOS) are a gamble, and hence they will soon announce a deal with Apple to offer an official iPhone in China. Yes, UPhones and iPhones can exist side-by-side in China Unicom’s inventory. The Chinese consumer will ultimately pick the winners. 

April 30, 2009

JLM Pacific Epoch is out with a report today on a new mobile handset operating system (MOS) developed by China Unicom. This MOS will be branded as “UniPlus.” According to the report, new UniPlus-enabled handsets with several “simple functions” could be released as early as May 2009. UniPlus will help China Unicom to encourage consumer use of China Unicom developed wireless value-added services (WVAS).

iphone-china-unicom-112Apple has demonstrated how subscribers will respond by consuming massive amounts of mobile data and services when a peerless smartphone (iPhone) and software are seamlessly integrated into a powerful platform (iTunes, App Store, MobileMe, SDK, 3.0 OS and soon to be integrated with Snow Leopard OS). China Unicom will likely follow a similar roadmap to Apple in building out their MOS and services platform. Yet China Unicom recognizes that they will not arrive at their destination overnight. Consequently they will not be competing against Apple and the iPhone anytime soon. In fact, China Unicom will be an important partner with Apple in China. Stay tuned for iPhone in China announcements in May/June.

china_mobile_logoChina Mobile, on the other hand, will be taking a far more aggressive approach in ramping up their own mobile platform. China Mobile is building their own mobile operating system and plans to release a customized smartphone (oPhone) in May in partnership with Levono. There were also rumors last week that China Mobile was in talks with Dell build a customized TD-SCDMA 3G smartphone. Dell!? gfxlovers.com/smilies

Levono oPhone customized for China Mobile

Levono oPhone customized for China Mobile

The China Mobile mobile operating system (MOS), will be Android-based and coded to support China Mobile’sproprietarywireless value-added services:

See video interview with China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou discussing China Mobile’s new MOS. Wang Jianzhou also mentions iPhone > HERE

More on China Mobile’s new app engine > HERE

 

 

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花花公子 it’s a Dell TD Phone!

 

dell-dude-tbi-085x0851iPhonAsia comment: According to a report on Sina.com.cn, Dell is planning to build two new TD-SCDMA smartphones for China Mobile. Like several new customized TD smartphones (Levono, HTC, Nokia) being developed for China Mobile, the Dell phone mobile operating system (MOS) will be Android-based and specially coded to exclusively support China Mobile services. In other words, the operating system will be “proprietary” to China Mobile and it will be branded as “oPhone.” Good luck with that Dell … All new China Mobile 3G handsets will suffer under TD-SCDMA usability issues and China Mobile’s myopic focus on driving their own WVAS. Pre-loaded services on TD handsets will likely include China Mobile’s:
picture-3See video interview with China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou discussing China Mobile’s new MOS. Wang Jianzhou also mentions iPhone > HERE
More on China Mobile’s new app engine > HERE
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Dell Phone Launching In China? (DELL, CHL)

If true, probably a good move: China Mobile is a massive carrier with almost half a billion subscribers, and Dell’s U.S. rivals like Apple and RIM don’t have much of a foothold in China.

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071212-google-china03products_monternetGoogle (Nasdaq:GOOG) China announced that it has renewed a contract to provide search technology support for China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL, 941.HK) mobile application service Monternet. The companies formed a two-year partnership in January 2007. 

picture-17Google China also agreed to provide mobile search for Sina’s (Nasdaq:SINA) wireless application protocol service (wap.sina.com.cn), the company said. Tencent (700.HK) and WAP portal 3g.cn have also been Google China mobile search clients.

 

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iPhonAsia comment: China Mobile has made no secret of their intent to build their own app store and promote their own value added services (VAS) platform (Monternet), their wireless music services platform (www.12530.com)  and their brand new Web 2.0 platform – similar to MobileMe.  China Mobile  made 27% of their revenue in 2008 through their VAS and they don’t want any leakage to Apple.

China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou

China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou

China Mobile has already launched R&D for its own Android powered mobile operating system, jointly with cell phone producer Lenovo. The new MOS has been dubbed Ophone. With its own operation system, China Mobile can install more services of its own.  

China Mobile has also paid Topssion and Accenture plenty of yuan to work on customization plans for TD-SCDMA handsets and perhaps to feed them news they want to hear … “you can build your own app store just like Apple … and here’s how can we help.”

It is quite possible that China Mobile pushed hard in an effort get Apple to strip down the iPhone (no WiFi, no App Store, no iTunes, etc.) in favor of China Mobile’s own VAS. It’s also possible that Apple said “No!” China Unicom also wants to push their own VAS but they are eager to steal away customers from the dominant China Mobile and may be open to “less” crippling. If China’s carriers insist on over customization of iPhone (dumbing down iPhone in favor of their own VAS), Apple may roll in China sans a formal carrier deal. 

Qiu Qiuliang GM Apple China

Qiu Qiuliang GM Apple China

June may be the timeframe for official announcements in China. Apple has a China roadmap. There’s ample evidence that Apple has a China distribution plan and recent China job postings suggest that plans are well along the path. 

picture-3421More on Apple and China Unicom rumors > HERE

       

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China Mobile Scoffs at Apple’s Desire to Sell iPhone Sans Operator

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picture-13iPhone talks between China Mobile (NYSE:CHL, 941.HK) and Apple (Nasdaq:APPL) remain at a standstill after one-and-a-half years of negotiations, reports Sina quoting a China Mobile insider. The report says Apple currently hopes to sell the iPhone without any operator commitments, allowing users to purchase mobile software through Apple’s iTunes Store. China Mobile chairman and CEO Wang Jianzhou said that would be Apple’s loss since the Chinese are not accustomed to making purchases online via credit card. 

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Here (below) is iPhonAsia’s comment to Ryan Barnes’ article China Mobile: Tea Leaves Give Mixed Reading, published on Seeking Alpha, November 27, 2008.  Read > HERE

Nice article Ryan … 

I thought it was interesting to read recent comments from China Mobile’s CEO re Apple’s App Store … Wang Jianzhou gave Apple and Steve Jobs kudos for the tremendous success with the iPhone and App Store. Yet it is apparent that China Mobile wants to control the entire wireless value added services platform. Wang Jianzhou has hinted about building their own App Store and even a wireless handset operating system (Android based) that supports China Mobile’s Monternet VAS.

Few handsets today are delivering a superior net browsing experience and China Mobile is none too pleased with the initial crop of TD-SCDMA ready handsets (when people don’t like your network, blame the phone). They have high hopes for the forthcoming crop of TD-SCDMA models from Nokia, HTC/Android and the rumored but yet to be confirmed TD iPhone 3G from Apple. 

My hope is that Apple will have two iPhone deals in China … One with China Mobile … the aforementioned “customized” TD iPhone 3G, and a second deal with China Unicom to deliver a more standard iPhone 3G. 

China MIIT has dropped several recent hints over issuance of all three 3G licenses within the next 90 days. I wouldn’t hold my breath … but it is looking like this just might happen. China Unicom has also hinted that they will be ready to launch their W-CDMA network by mid-2009. This will bring some legitimate competition to China’s mobile market. 

It’s my belief that China Unicom would be more willing to give free reign to handset makers’ services and innovations – such as Apple’s (e.g. App Store, Mobile Me, Wifi, iTunes [someday] and in the future “wave-pay”)

In my view China Mobile attempting to control the entire VAS ecosystem is not going to work for many hundreds of millions of wireless customers and China Mobile stands to lose customers to China Unicom and China Telecom if they insist on over-customization and total control of handsets. 

~ Dan Butterfield, iPhonAsia

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iPhonAsia Comment: What is “customization” in the context of the wireless handset market? Mobile operators often make direct purchases from handset manufacturers (ZTE, Nokia, Apple?) and then brand (carrier’s logo) and customize the phones to make them more “appealing” (or so the carrier’s like to believe) to consumers or more directly support the carrier’s value added services platform. Customized phones are popular in the pre-pay market.

In July of 2007, China Mobile officially issued the new brand logo of “Xin Ji” (“The mobile phone that understands my heart”) for their customized handsets.  

In the post below, Accenture VP Li Weichong is dismissing rumors that China Mobile will customize TD-SCDMA handsets as a means to promote sales. Which begs the question … Just what role is Accenture going to play by working with Topssion, China Mobile’s handset customization partner?  

On a different yet possibly related subject … iPhonAsia has theorized that Apple and China Mobile will collaborate on production of a TD-SCDMA enabled iPhone. I am calling this special production run for China a “TD iPhone 3G.”  In addition to TD-SCDMA, the chipset in TD iPhone 3G might also 03products_monternetsupport China’s mobile TV standards: CMMB (China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting). Another possible customization might be to support China Mobile’s wireless music services platform (www.12530.com) or their brand new Web 2.0 platform – similar to MobileMe. The list goes on. One hopes that Apple will not allow China Mobile to re-make the iPhone by virtue of over customization. The black-marketeers won’t mind a bit if China Mobile goes too far. This will ensure a robust demand for non-customized iPhone 3G models that will run just fine on China Mobile’s current EDGE 2.5 G network.

Apple’s iPhone has now been introduced “as is” (sans any customization) in dozens of nations. The China Mobile deal, however, may break this mold. Yet if there is to be a “customized” TD iPhone 3G, it’s highly likely that this deal will involve a pre-sale to China Mobile of substantial quantity. iPhonAsia has speculated (wild guess) that this number could be 3 million units. iPhone Asia also believes the deal terms will include a China Mobile subsidy to propel retail sales well beyond the initial 3 million unit pre-sale (HonHai production lines will stay busy). A subsidy is out of the norm for China carriers, but TD-SCDMA is a special caseChina Mobile is currently providing generous subsidies to all TD-SCDMA handsets (primarily China built) to help encourage Chinese wireless users to take the TD-SCDMA plunge.  

China Mobile consults Accenture on ways to boost sales of TD-SCDMA handsets

China Communications, 9/05/08

Sources at handset customization firm Topssion have revealed China Mobile has invited consulting firm Accenture to help it ensure broader social acceptance of TD-SCDMA handsets. Li Weichong, Accenture’s vice director for the greater China region, has stated that the matter is currently still under discussion.

Dismissing previous rumors, Li believes China Mobile won’t adopt handset customization as a way to promote TD-SCDMA sales.

Topssion was founded in 2004 by the China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC), ZTE, Ningbo Bird, and Huawei. The company’s primary business is handset customization, sales, services and other value-added services.

See full post > HERE

 

 

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Huawei developing software to enhance telecom carriers’ value-added services on next-generation (high speed) networks.

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It is no secret that China Mobile wants to drive handset owners’ usage of the Monternet value-added services platform (music, mobile TV, video, search, etc.).

To aid China Mobile and other carriers, Huawei recently announced that they will launch a new division to facilitate the integration between handsets and carriers’ VAS. Quoting Huawei Software’s head of marketing Guo Yajun: “Value-added services are becoming increasingly important for operators’ further development.” For example, China Mobile has attached great importance to its overall VAS strategy… Full story > HERE

So what is Huawei doing about this keen interest on the part of major carriers worldwide?  > Something interesting. 

Excerpt: Huawei says that its software is interoperable with the network equipment from multiple vendors and that it has developed a number of telecom software partnerships, with companies such as Convergys Corp., IBM Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Co., to deliver a full range of capabilities.

In a related story, Google is now working with China Mobile on “search” via their Monternet WAP portal

What’s the tie-in to an iPhone deal in China?  

It is not at all clear that there is any tie-in to Apple or iPhone. However, China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou was quoted at the early April 2008 Boao Forum (paraphrase) –

“The two sides (Apple and China Mobile) had reached a consensus on some manner of cooperation but had yet to discuss a range of technical issues.”

One such technical issue might be how iPhone can integrate with China Mobile’s VAS.  


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