Tag Archives: mobile

Global Carrier PrePay


Some ideas are stupid. Mine have a strong tendency to fit into this category. However, from the darkness, sometimes beams a powerful beacon light. OK, I exaggerated a little bit. I meant a twinkly faded one. Anyhow, I’ll throw some of those meteoroids at the internet sky, and perhaps one will have a magnificent shooting star effect one day for some one. Sit belt on.

We are used to “prepaid” mobile phone accounts, where it’s easy to control costs. But this service is often offered by a particular carrier to meet the carrier own services.

A possible extension, is a global PrePay. This service can be tied to a user or even multiple users, rather than the user and it’s service provider. While still not a mobile payments or mWallet, it allows a user, family or a small business, to control costs and allocate monthly (or otherwise) money for various mobile communication expenses together, or even control each seperately (e.g. different pool for SMS, voice calls, internet, and roaming):

  • A registry is created for families phones across multiple carriers, or a small business phones, or even a single person using multiple phones from possibly multiple carriers.
  • A prepaid services is offered, where unlike the carrier provided one – it is “shared” across carriers.
  • In addition it may even be provisioned to be shared across multiple users, e.g. the business partners, family members, etc.
  • The prepaid amount may be further allocated to different applications  (e.g. pool for SMS, pool for voice, pool for app download – or globally shared)
  • When one of the eligible users deposit – all can benefit.
  • When one consumes, overall balance is reduced
  • Policies can further refine this to multiple needs, domains and solutions

Note:  Direct integration to carrier prepaid solution as well as OTT are both feasible.

Some trivial use cases are:

  • Setting mobile phone pre-pay allowance for a family.
  • Setting media consumptions for multiple family members (one may use for iTunes music, other for android apps)
  • Small business communication costs control

This is primarily a consumer service, but can be linked with service providers, or target Enterprises of a small scale.

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Free D #2 – 2D Barcodes – Another step at making the world Digital, Online & Dynamic


Mobile 2D bar-codes are becoming accessible across handset technologies, formats, carriers and advertisers. But if we dig deeper, I believe it helps to expand an even bigger market: Digitizing and onlining the world, and making it Dynamic. I’ll try and explain what I mean by that.

Digitizing / Onlining

The revolution of information accessible and searchable in the internet, progressing to images, music (iTunes), video (YouTube), voice recognition (shazam), books (google) is continuing. By making everything online, we can navigate in the ever expanding world offering more choice. More choice traditionally seen as freedom, is heavily debated to be chains as well (see the Paradox of Choice – Why more is less), forcing us to spend a lot of time and resources, doing things that were trivial and equally enjoying in the past. 285 types of cookies to choose from in a supermarket? Surely it would drive monster cookie from sesame street insane, as if it does not already have popularity issues being a monster. So more choices, but with ability to filter and narrow down, potentially offers the end user both sides of the stick.

2D barcodes allow neustar to convert traditional media and product, and make them online. This makes it not only searchable, but accessible later, and from different consumption points. I can scan a window shop, of a closed shop, and later purchase it online from my PC. Very simple use cases is often something that helps drive massive usage. Time will tell.

Dynamic

As a past programmer, I’m “trained” to see the evolvement between “constant” (hardcoding), variable (placeholder for something that may change), and even higher level of pointers (a link to something, that links to something).

The trick is the trade off between simplicity of seeing something immediately recognisable as such, while still allowing our constant changing world, to adapt that representation to what is relevant the most, for a particular party, and a particular time and place.

Didn’t I just outline what is trivial to any advertising and media company? I apologise for the inconvinience (that’s what people here at UK do when they step on someone’s toe). And yes, by creating easily recognisable bar codes, we help the consumer feel a somehow consistent (“constant”) representation, and by having neustar registries, we actually allow this to reference something that may change in time, place, and fit itself to the end user consuming it, in the most relevant way to him: fit his device, location, environment and needs.

Another interesting aspect of it, is that the dynamic nature even of stable brands, in challanging economics that favour scale at certain times, and trending in general – allow us to to point a bar code of Pepsi Max toward (1) http://www.coca-cola.com website (if a future M&A will so dictate, and no – I have no inside information of CocaCola buying Pepsico, and no – this post does not constitute a recomendation to buy or sell certain stocks the reader may have own), that is (2) local to the country or current location of the person and (3) is fitting the needs of that consumer (a can, a 2L family bottle, or a container full of that black gold liquid for the addicted ones). This is a result of “server-side” value adding, that can link information together before actually targeting the given URL.

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