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Innovation a mixed blessing for mobile service firms

india Updated: Feb 13, 2007 02:01 IST
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Is continuous innovation too much of a good thing? So much so that it turns not-so-good?

In the fast-changing world of mobile phone technology, operators and service providers have to constantly grapple with breakneck changes, enough to confuse themselves in their race to please consumers.

The use of social networking, built around sites like Yahoo and MySpace, in which groups of people based on common tastes find each other and share contacts, content and communications, is a hot topic at Barcelona, where the 3GSM conference that brings together operators, regulators and policy-makers kicked off on Monday.

Innovations in technology would continue to pose the challenges for society. While it helps to improve the day-to-day functioning, operators would need to strike a balance when social networking goes mobile, experts said at a panel discussion at a seminar forming part of the global conference in this Spanish city.

Treveor Shonefeld, chief executive of Roundpoint, a firm that helps commercial enterprises, media owners and information providers turn mobile content and interaction into new revenues, better products and service experiences, while acknowledging that the platforms like Yahoo and My Space provided an opportunity for people to interact with each other, sounded a note of caution on what it meant to operators.

"It is important that innovation has to be continuous but tepid for operators to think clearly about the next offering," said Shonefeld.

The 3GSM inaugural day had that all one can expect without hype. At a broader level, Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice-president at Yahoo! held forth on how chats had empowered people and how blogs have become an important part of society.

Speaking at the discussion, Jean-Paul Sanchez, MySpace's vice-president of mobile services for Europe, said, "It is awesome to witness the passion that people associate with the blog or the medium they use. There is sense of attachment which the service providers have to understand when it goes mobile."

Email M Rajendran: rajendran .manoharan@hindustantimes.com

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