MVNOs are blooming but the most successful one (actually, the grand sugarmamma of them all) happens to be a virtual MVNO : behind a unique and powerful brand, the Virgin Mobile franchise looks like a financial chameleon. Each story depending on too many factors to build a case, all attempts for an international seamless player failed and there is no such thing as a pure player.
Most MVNOs tend to communicate on partnerships rather than financial data. Amp'd can be a practical vehicle / advertising tool for content providers (
MTV, UMG) or enablers (Qualcomm), but a sexy partnership with Break.com doesn't necessarily mean a wedding with breakeven.net. Even niche marketing experts can fail where they should sparkle : Movida are only proposing now the first prepaid plans much needed by a mostly un-banked core target and I wonder how many customers they average per POS (45,000 points of sale claimed mid 2006)...
On the other hand,
MVNE (Mobile Virtual Network Enablers) are all the rage. In France, where MVNOs claimed a stratospheric 1.46% last June (up from 0.09% one year earlier), The Phone House / Carphone Warehouse found their vocation after practicing as far as the short MNO leash let them go (kenavo Breitz Mobile), and their union with Virgin Mobile definitely looks better than their unproductive affair with AOL (mViva). France's top soccer clubs (OM, PSG, RCL, ASSE and OL) are using a major in marketing for fans, Universal Music Mobile, as their commercial MVNE... but the actual technical MVNE is the MNO itself, as the OM / PSG / RCL / ASSE / OL mobile by Orange branding tells us*.
Well, the fact is MNOs remain the most vital enablers for MVNOs. And all this 'virtual' / 'enabler' stuff is nothing but words. This isn't a plug & play environment yet.

Orange invented the "by Orange" concept for M6 mobile - a smart way of pleasing the regulator while feeding the brand.


Record launch for Nokia

Lassi Etelatalo won the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship with a new World Record (89 meters) but an old Nokia. The man is used to throw javelins but should try antennas as well - picture this : this human power-towerco covers 7,921 square meters.


Windows Lite live in Seoul - Special K fat (profits) free ?

New OEM Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition versions are being delivered today in Korea. Following a 32.5 bn Won fine, "Windows XP K" goes either without the usual suspects (MSN Messenger, Windows Media) or with a full choice (all major messengers, a web link to all media players).
PC manufacturers can test the new OS from now on but endusers won't discover this "disruptive innovation" before next February...
Late as usual, but this time no bugs to be blamed. Especially not from a financial point of view : thanks to their brilliant R&D team (that's for Revamping & Delaying), Microsoft are about to save yet another Xmas season.


MySpace France : dial fr for Murdoch

MySpace France opened their beta version on the web*. Un-translated US banners feebly try to animate an almost empty shell but you can count on Fox Interactive Media for tying a few knots with local media partners.
In France,
Murdoch's blog machine cannot leverage on a strong News Corp presence and worse, it will face a strong leader with a rather newscorpish look and feel : Skyblog sounds like a Sky branch and succesfully targets the illiterate. Yes, the global deal with Google can bring audience, but not substance... and especially not MySpace's trademark podcastable broadband-broadchested-six-pack-daily-mirrorish substance.
MySpace France must be finalizing some partnerships with a cellco /
M-VNO, and certainly with TV / radio channels. I don't expect Arte / France Culture executives to be shortening their holidays.

* dial
http://fr.myspace.com/ for Murdoch ; myspace.fr seems to be auctioned by its opportunist owner.

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