Thursday, October 11, 2007

Telefonica Definitely Not Playing By Rules, Complain Operators

Not long after an O2 man was caught in public saying taboo things about revenue shares, O2's owner Telefonica have broken the implicit Operator pact to shun Nokia by endorsing the controversial Ovi services platform - a move which it forward thinking, ackonowledges other players in the value chain may have somethign to add, and may also actually improve consumer's lives. Shocking stuff, which will potentially see Telefonica removed from the Christmas card lists of their more conventional "we own everything everywhere" peers.

It's clear that an open content discovery system where many vendors can integrate smoothly is in the interests of consumers. It's certainly in the interests of Nokia, who appear to have bet the company on it. The question is why would an Operator allow it to go ahead? Maybe some sort of revenue share deal? Maybe they're just all shook up about the ridiculous concessions Apple are reported to have got, and would rather set precedents with the devil they know rather than wait and see how the O2 iPhone rollercoaster ends.

All very interesting game theory - competing Operators have a vested interest in all playing the same game, but anyone who breaks ranks can get a short-term advantage and potentially change the playing field. In a market where traditional revenue streams have a clear sell-by date, things will be getting ever more interesting...