The researchers see a number of reasons for the contrast.
• Japanese users got hooked on email, especially i-mode’s i-mail, while the Europeans went for SMS.
• The Japanese model draws in content providers – anyone can build an independent i-mode site and take the bulk of revenues generated (91%). In Europe, it’s difficult to set up an m-site and operators portals keep at least 40% of content revenues.
• Japanese telcos have less competition (Japan has 100m mobile users and just three networks), more contract customers who exhibit more brand loyalty, and fewer independent sales channels.
• Cross-channel usage is more common, with integrated PC and mobile websites and scannable quick response (QR) codes.
Forrester thinks operators have to wean users off simple services that work out-of-the-box by providing better education and point-of-sale support. Specific suggestions include more hands-on training and live handsets trials for resellers, and in-store workshops using mobile Internet experts.
The content issue is also important, especially location-relevant services. Forrester also notes that flat-rate tariffs would help to encourage use.
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