3GSM - Still looking for the 'killer app'

After investing hundreds of millions of dollars in multimedia messaging infrastructure, the mobile phone industry is still looking for the "killer app," the overwhelmingly useful application that will drive usage of it, according to Don Listwin, chief executive officer of mobile Internet software developer Openwave Systems Inc.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is sold by network operators as a way to send electronic postcards, but users aren't buying it, he said in the opening keynote presentation at the 3GSM World Congress on Monday. Openwave is based in Redwood City, California.

"We have got to find more interesting applications to put on MMS. We (as an industry) have spent half a billion dollars on the infrastructure and it isn't quite interoperable yet; we have to work on that," Listwin said.

While almost any GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone can exchange text messages using SMS (Short Message Service) with almost any other GSM phone, on any GSM network, different operators have implemented MMS in different ways.

One mistake the industry is making is to sell MMS as a service in itself, Listwin said.

"Today's picture messaging phones have as many as six messaging services: SMS, MMS, the network operator's e-mail, other e-mail, instant messaging and voice," but users don't want to have to make technical decisions about which one to use: they are just interested in sending their message, he said.

"As an industry, we have to get focused on users," he said. Operators must ask themselves, "What's going to grab that user?"

A few years ago, PDAs (personal digital assistants) were seen as the way to put access to sophisticated services in users' pockets -- but according to some analysts' estimates, sales of PDAs fell last year, said Listwin.

"Now, it's all about phones, 400 million to 500 million of them every year," Listwin said.

To grab users' attention using packet-based data services over such simple terminals will mean moving some of that sophistication found in PDAs out into the network.

"The packet transition is going to be all about putting intelligence into the network," Listwin said.

The 3GSM World Congress runs through Friday at the Palais des Congrès in Cannes, France.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?