One Internet-related trend that has been slow to take off has been the mobile web – bringing the Internet to mobile devices. The following article has a good write up about marketing and the mobile internet: Mobile Marketing has finally arrived
The mobile web faces various challenges, not least that many web sites today have yet to create site designs suited for small screens. But I suspect the biggest reason for slow adoption has nothing to do with the technology.
I like to use my mobile phone for sync’ing email and browsing the Internet. But. It costs a small invisible fortune. For starters, the majority of mobile phone networks seem to focus their pricing structures around phone calls and sending texts. Your monthly subscription will typically include a lump of free call minutes and free text messages, but zero freebies involving the Internet. And even if you have to pay for your calls, you can judge how expensive the call is going to be. Even if you can’t remember your actual call rate, simply multiple the duration of the conversation by 50p (in the UK) should give a suitable worst case scenario. Text messaging is even simpler – you pay a flat fee per text usually. But data is an invisible mine field because the mobile operators typically charge by the volume of data downloaded. This poses some challenges. a) there is no visual clue about how much data is downloaded when you are browsing the web or sync’ing email, and b) you can’t easily control the volume of data that has to be downloaded. Net result: After seeing some hefty data charges on my monthly bill, my mobile internet browsing days are being scaled down to the bare minimum.
I am rubbish at text messaging, and don’t use anywhere near my free allowance. I don’t use up all my call allowance each month either. I want a mobile phone subscription that includes a certain amount of free data downloads too… but that still does not solve the second issue – how do you control how much data is downloaded? Is it going to be trial and error to find out which sites are mobile-friendly versus mobile-costly?
Technorati Tags: Mobile Web