The world’s biggest mobile carrier (by revenue) today announced that it has finally seen the light for mobile consumer data and plans to more tightly integrate its Vodafone Live! portals both on mobile and online.
Known more for their services to business, Vodafone has never really been up there with the Orange’s and Three’s of this world when it comes to the bleeding-edge of consumer mobile services, but this is another encouraging step in what has been quite a product recent spell for the mobile giant.
According to rumour Vodafone is developing a series of online features that will include the ability to manage contacts and media.
This UK announcement comes on the heels of the (Spring ’08) Vodafone Germany announcement of their efficiently named Vodafone Music Client (mobile app) and the Vodafone Music Manager (web).
Today’s UK announcement is almost certainly a build-up to the UK launch of the German product.
The longer-term impact of this on music commerce remains to be seen of course, but certainly Vodafone appear to be getting ready for bigger things in music in order to compete with the likes of the iPhone/iTunes juggernaut, Nokia’s “Comes With Music” subscription service and Sony Ericcson’s PlayNow arena, for example. This on top of last month’s link-up with MTV for “Vodafone Soundbites” suggests an intensified focus on music.
This is an interesting example of a mobile experience/brand being transferred to online, rather that other way around. Is this the sign of things to come from mobile carriers worldwide? Given the rampant spate of ISP acquisitions by carriers over the past 3 years, the answer just might be a resounding YES.
PS: At some point soon I’ll provide a review of Vodafone’s music site .