Archive for June 2006

Debitel launches Mobile TV offering for €9.95 per month

June 2, 2006

According to various sources, Debitel has launched a mobile TV offering in cooperation with MFD. MFD, a young German start-up has managed to secure a nationwide DMB license earlier this year. Now, Debitel is on air with a €9.95 / month package with four channels (Pro7Sat1 Channel, MTV, N24 and ZDF) in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart. Other cities to follow during the Worldcup.

Takeaway: A new, exciting area has started for German consumers! At least for some – for the time being! As the only commercial handset available in the market currently is the SGH-P900 from Samsung which requires a €199 contract with Debitel.

Recommendation: This major milestone in the history of mobile TV will provide a lot of opportunities for young, nimble start-ups which will fill the various promising niches between the two major parties (mobile operators; content providers). MFD is a very good example of a young start-up challenging the traditional contenders. I am sure, we will see more of these in other related mobile TV areas….

Advertising revenues becoming more important for MNOs

June 1, 2006

MNOs such as Vodafone and T-Mobile are moving aggressively into the mobile marketing space in order to generate new forms of revenues and to compensate for lost voice and SMS business. Now, Virgin Mobile in the US is going down a very innovative path in the mobile world: “subsidized ad calling”.

Takeaway: Subsidizing calls on a fixed line was a model which was introduced in 1999 and 2000 by a few start-ups here in Europe, an approach which miserably failed at that time. As cell phone calls are getting cheaper and cheaper (in the US there are first “phone as much as you want” packages available; in Austria free of charge calls within the same network, etc.), advertising models might only attract a very distinct (young people?), (probably small) target group. However, it remains an interesting pilot case…

Recommendation: MNOs are feeling the pressure and are moving into new fields of activities. The voice business has been deteriorating over the last years. Now, new start-ups are threatening other, still profitable products and businesses such as SMS or IM. There are many interesting ideas out there…. and interest from the VC community is growing steadily…

Schambach attracts funding from T-Venture

June 1, 2006

Valerie Thompson recently reported about several successful start-ups, who were set up by former Intershop founders and managers. One of thesse companies, demandware, headed up by Stephan Schambach, seems to be doing well. Although the company is HQ’ed in the US, they have recently attracted a German VC investment from the T-Venture fund according to ComputerWoche.

Takeaway: Demandware, building upon a strong product originated from Intershop, seems to hit a hot spot in the markt for hosted eCommerce solutions. Especially SMBs seem to find this new kind of service intriguing. Demandware will need to define a scalable business model, which allows to address thousands of SMBs with such a hosted solution – without spending too much effort, time and money on getting these customers live.

Recommendations: Enrepreneurs! ASP services will continue to boom. We will see more business models like these in the future….