The Mobile 2.0 Tariff

An idea that popped up during a lunch; and something I would love to see in 2007:

“The Mobile 2.0 Tariff”

The world’s driven by market forces. And the best will in the world behind “thou shalt use the mobile web” isn’t going to work unless it’s economically stimulated.

Open gardens and open data usage are a start.

But (and forget here for a moment you are a jet-setting telecoms professional whose bills get paid), the vast majority of the human population – or at least those who have a mobile phone – are concerned with 1) communication with their social network, and 2) how much it’s going to cost.

It’s called telephony. These days, at least.

But the ingredients of mobile 2.0 are about bringing more variety to that social network’s communication. Keep the telephony, sure. But mix in more exciting forms of messaging, web 2.0-like services, and richer media types.

All the technology stuff the works. We’ve seen the template for these services on the non-mobile web, and we know it can work over the mobile medium too.

But it still doesn’t mean that the second criterion is met: that of economics. Remember, for most of the population, tariffs are intimately mixed up with whole mobile usage experience.

So imagine this. An enlightened operator launches the “Mobile 2.0 Tariff”: a mobile bundle, pricing plan, and service portfolio designed to appeal to the 21st century social networker.

What do you get? Obviously a capable phone and unlimited data. So far, so X-Series.


A) Then, provide a pre-paid option. Today’s on-line society isn’t solely comprised of well-heeled credit-worthy early-adopters. Students, kids, the unemployed, the casual user. Shouldn’t they get the mobile web too?

B) Pre-configure settings, bookmarks, or client-side apps for big mobile or web 2.0 apps. Maybe this is web-side configurable, using OMA DM – you can enter your account settings etc. YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, SoonR (although even that’s a bit enterprise), etc. Typing URLs and re-logging in is so QWERTY.

C) Host a (mobile) web presence for each subscriber. Give them a blog engine, ready-skinned for mobile usage:

– or howabout Make this stuff really easy.

D) Tie up as many commercial web services’ accounting into the consolidated billing. Could I have my mobile AdSense account appearing on my bill or spent against my pre-paid credit? (OK – maybe not always, but I should be able to choose so)

E) Do a f***-off advertising campaign. Hey! Surely we’re ready to revisit “Surf the Mobile Internet”!


I’m sure that’s not even the start of it. But I hope you get the idea. Basically, we have to make this exciting mobile paradigm as easy as falling off a (b)log.

– or perhaps what I’m saying is that we get so easily tied up in what can be done, and some funky demo we saw last week, that we sometimes lose sight of what the human population thinks about and really wants to do. Creating a path of least resitance to that is key.

Oh, and I’m sure I don’t know wholly know what the human population thinks about and really wants to do. So any more ideas? 🙂