Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where now for premium rate

Chances are if you are reading this, you will know something about the premium rate industry. Recently it seems almost all of the UK media industry has been affected by competition fixing, failures to handle competition entries correctly, over-charging and so on. It doesnt paint a good picture for the industry. I am glad to say that ever since I worked at Broadsystem and Telecom Express I never saw any of this go on and always pulled heaven and earth together to resolve technical issues so that they had no affect on the consumer. It appears most of the issues in premium rate telephony and text come down to human error, very few things I have read appear to be technical issues. I do wonder if the government and the governing bodies such as ICSTIS have kept their head in the sand to make sure the industry runs above board. Its almost impossible to police this area because premium rate is used so widely these days.

So where now, many of the big brand media companies have put their premium rate services on hold. They must be losing a huge amount of revenue which they would have budgeted for at the start of their last financial year. So I think we have to assume they will wait for things to quiet down before starting where they left off. But there are questions left open here, who is keeping an eye on the industry?

ICSTIS appear to wait for complaints to come in before before slapping somebodies wrist rather than pro-actively getting involved with the industry. It also seems the government doesnt understand the ins and outs of premium rate. Also I think we will start to see this industry offshore as the industry aims to continue to bring costs down. I also believe the mobile operators need to be more pro-active, they seem happy to deliver and bill on the traffic but dont work closely with the service providers to clean up the industry. I cant remember the mobile operators really taking any interest in how providers actually used their services, as long as the money kept rolling in eh?

So, it's time to replace parts of ICSTIS, OFCOM, gambling and lottery commisions with a new body, and this time give them the task of working closely with the industry and actually help them rather than just publish ednless reccomendations and expect the industry to police itself. The industry and bodies up to now have been rather lazy when it comes to being above board, there are better ways that dont have to appear heavy handed to encourage more openess and greater honesty. Nuf said!

April MoMoLondon

The next Mobile Monday London is going to be on the 16th of April, we are currently confirming sponsors and a venue. The theme will be on location. The very first event we organised over a year and a half ago was on 'Bridging the physical and mobile world' and it is time to revisit that concept again. there is a huge amount of innovation happening right now, for me this is really relevant as I have just started at Ymogen. I will be working along with the rest of the company to build the next generation of the community platform. The idea is rather than just provide an online content store, we put a huge emphasis onto the community itself, the people that author the stories rather than just pictures, where they were and so on. So back to MoMoLondon ... if you are interested in speaking or demoing then send me an email on

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mobile Monday London Demo Night

Monday night saw the return of Demo Night at Mobile Monday London. Jo Rabin worked with City University to bring us a large venue (shame we couldnt fill it) and Stuart John was the MC for the evening. It all went smoothly considering what could have been the case for 10 demos in a row ... and we didnt go over the planned amount of time! The podcasts will be available online soon at As always I tried my best to hold myself steady whilst taking some photos of the event, here they are on Flickr.

Finally, if you have any feedback from any of the Mobile Monday London events please send them to one of the following organisers:

Moving on ...

It has been a while since I have posted to my Blog, but the news is I have now finished at Telecom Express and am having a short break before I get my teeth into the new role at Ymogen. I am excited about the opportunities at Ymogen, everyone seems really enthusiastic about their goals and I wont be the only new bod there which is a comfort. I hope to get to meet more people around the industry now my role is going to include more contact with clients and aid in the business development.

I did enjoy my role at TE (and before that Broadsystem before the media division was bought by TE) working on high profile TV, Radio and Print media campaigns. I remember working on such shows as I'm a Celebrity, The Gadget Show, 5th Gear, Back to Reality (jeez!), The Match, Stars in their eyes ... I could go on ... but I wont :) Naturally I wish everyone at TE all the best for the future an no doubt our paths will cross again soon. Please keep in contact with me through my linkedin account.