MEF Asia Working Group - 17 December 2009
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The second MEFs second Asia Working Group meeting began with a presentation on mobile usage by Kedar Sohoni of Informate, an Analyst and MEF Member.
Miranda Roberts, MEF Policy and Initiatives Officer, followed with a demonstration of MEF’s Regulatory Database, a central resource and one-stop shop which MEF is building to help guide members through the various regulatory requirements which relate to the provision of mobile media across different countries within EMEA, Asia and the Americas.
This database stems from feedback MEF has received from its members asking for assistance with the interpretation of regulation and legislation in their own region and more broadly for different territories within which they are looking to operate. The key benefits to MEF members of such a facility are:
- A one stop-solution and central information resource
- Access to information on regulations applicable at a local, regional and international level
- Snapshot overview of what is happening in different territories
- Facilitate cross territory operation, eg, a Singaporean company wishing to operate in India needs to research the correct contacts, rules, market entry requirements
- Saves time and money
- Any individual staff member within a member company can access the database, no matter where they are based
- MEF members with any level of regulatory experience or interest will be able to access the information they need across any markets of interest, both quickly and thoroughly
Please refer all comments and feedback to Miranda, MEF Policy and Initiatives Officer - email@example.com
Suhail Bhat, MEF Policy and Initiatives Director spoke about possible work streams for South East Asia and India, as follows:
Regulation: MEF Asia member companies approached us to help them better understand the key regulatory issues that affect their businesses. With such dynamic and disparate markets it was felt that MEF’s expertise and thought leadership could best be applied by visiting each of the key markets individually and establishing a dialogue with both the regulators and the companies who are impacted by the codes and policies. Since MEF met companies and regulators in India, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, there is the possibility of doing considerable work in each country to deal with the specific issues raised on the tour. In addition, the Indonesian regulator suggested that they would put MEF forward to advise and develop a common, ‘goal based’ Code for ASEAN.
Enablers: One of the enduring debates in the mobile industry has been whether wireless carriers are destined to become “dumb pipes” carrying - but not sharing in - the value of mobile entertainment OR whether wireless carriers become “smart pipes”, where they add value and earn revenue by providing services to the content industry in return for money. The global mobile entertainment industry is worth about $32 billion dollars, of which nearly half is based on the “offportal” model. This has non-operator enterprises acting as content publishers and retailers, sourcing content and investing in services. And to enhance and deliver these services, they buy certain services from the operators. These are increasing known as “enabling services”, which “enable” a third party to create, deliver and bill for their mobile content or service. These enablers include bulk SMS, premium billing capability, shortcode number rental, and location lookups. The operators therefore can complement their downstream, retail revenues from consumers with upstream revenue from third parties, either directly, as when they sell bulk SMS or indirectly as when they engage in premium billing, and subtract a billing charge before passing on the payment to the third party.
Amongst content providers, there is a growing awareness that success is intimately dependent upon the quality – reliability and simplicity – of the user experience, and that these experiences can only be enhanced by operator enabling services, which alone can give the necessary visibility and control.
As a result of operator interest many groups are working on defining and implementing a new generation of “smart pipe” enabling services, both within national and international operator groups and within various operator industry groups. To date, the content industry has not been involved. MEF is working with its members to develop enabling services that suit the needs of the content owner, generate additional revenues and create a more seamless user experience. We’ll be publishing a Guide in Q1 of 2010 that can be localised in SE Asia.
AFME: Ad-funded Mobile Entertainment presents an exciting opportunity to promote a wealth of mobile entertainment services to consumers. It also offers the advertising community a business model that can be targeted in a highly effective way. In February 2008, MEF published its members-only Report containing unique statistics outlining ME forecasts for the UK with service breakdowns. The Report defines and contextualises AFME and sets out how AFME, with mobile games and video in particular, is set to generate substantial revenues of £145m by 2012. Since then, MEF has produced similar reports for the US, France and India and will be producing further reports in other regions this year and held a webinar for the results of the SE Asia report.
There is an opportunity to produce an inventory for the different types of mobile content and examine how best these services can be ad-funded.
Suhail asked attendees to consider the 3 pieces of work and whether they were the best ones to have an impact in SE Asia and India.
Please refer all comments and feedback to Suhail, MEF Policy and Initiatives Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Informate Presentation Slides can be downloaded free.