Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Google says: Go Mobile, Follow the Mobile

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt says: the future is Mobile

If you have not watched Google CEO's interview on Charlie Rose yet, this is a must watch.

In the interview, Schmidt keeps driving home the point mobile is the future.
"Fast forward a few years from now, with the content and capability of sophisticated mobile phones, and with a new generation of applications. We expect eventually the majority of the uses of the internet will be on the mobile phones. Mobile phone usage is growing faster than personal computers. There are many more of them on the order of 4B in the world. In our lifetime, at least 5B or 5.5B of the population will have mobile phones. Emerging markets like China and India are growing phenomenally." After a series of questions from Charlie Rose ranging from topics in content publishing, advertising, privacy, social networks, micro payment, Google Earth, Google Latitude, digital divide, etc... Eric Schmidt continues, "The real story is going to be the mobile phone."

Hong Kong mobile data plans, my pathetic story!

O.K. I am cheap! Well, may be not! I do own an iPhone. However, it is in California with my trusted engineering friend who often help me test all things mobile internet from the US. It has cost me USD 2000 for the entire contract with AT&T so I am reluctant to buy another iPhone in HK just yet. Finally, I bought my netbook few days ago, determined to subscribe or get a mobile internet data plan to go with the netbook. After in Timesquare's Fortress for over an hour, three other people had bought the iPhone come and gone, and I am still trying to figure out the best and most affordable mobile data plan for my netbook and my Ericsson 3G phone. Bottom line is there are so many different plans, some prepaid and some monthly plan with contract. Some works for computer only, some works for both computer and mobile handset. Some daily cap, some monthly cap. Some need to buy a separate HSDPA modem, some rebate the cost of the modem when sign a 12 month contract. I am not afraid of numbers in general but I was exhausted after comparing all the plans in 3 and Smartone. Proudly holding my new netbook, but sadly I went home without a 3G data plan, feeling something is just not right.

Follow the mobile and everything else will follow

And next day Tomi incidentally send me this article from a Google guy who speaks to my heart! Thank you, thank you, Vic Gundotra. To all 3G operators in Hong Kong, I dedicate this article, Follow the Mobile, to you from the bottom of my heart!

Flat is the new phat

Flat rate data plan (I add afforable, HKD 400/month is NOT quite afforable), encourages data usage and leads to customer satisfaction.

"Consider MetroPCS, a regional carrier in the United States with just over 5 million subscribers on their 2.5G CDMA network. Over the past year, their Google search volume grew over 2.5x more quickly than another global carrier with 10 times as many users, and a 3G network."

Metro’s “secret” is a free month of web access at signup, with the option of flat-rate, unlimited data thereafter. As a result nearly half of Metro’s subscribers use the web on a regular basis. (It’s also worth mentioning that MetroPCS was recently recognized for excellence in customer satisfaction.

In contrast, many operators subject users to a labyrinthine set of data options, from pay-as-you-go to daily caps with significant overage charges. Now, can you imagine paying your at-home internet provider for every page load? Or needing to know the size of a website before visiting it? Or managing your monthly download quota across your entire household? It’s simply not practical, and it’s all the same internet, so why do we treat mobile users as second-class citizens? Case and point: my colleague’s January phone bill contained 27 pages of itemized data charges, spelled out in excruciating detail.

A mobile gadget for you lucky mo-surfers: Bolt mobile browser

If you are one of the lucky ones who has a cool 3G phone and unlimited data plan, here's a great gadget,
Bolt mobile browser, that can handle mobile video streaming smoothly. New users climb past 300,000 for the first month of beta is worth checking out.

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