Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Telus Offering Mobile Porn - The Future Is Friendly, Indeed!

Well, as they say, "only in Canada...pity."

We've had a good run recently of firsts from our carriers, if not Canada, for North America.

Two weeks ago, Rogers announced its entry into the business IP telephony market along with Mitel and Natural Convergence. Not only is this a first for a cableco to go after this market, but this particular cableco happens to be Canada's leading wireless operator. This creates two additional new opportunities, actually. First, Rogers can offer both wireline and wireless services to SMBs, so this market should be worth watching for some early FMC applications. We'll see. Secondly, because Rogers is a national wireless operator, they have the ability to offer SMBs IP telephony beyond their traditional cable footprint. That may be a ways off yet, but the potential is there.

Last week, Videotron announced its plans to offer 100 mbps broadband to its subscribers. That's certainly a first in North America. While it remains to be seen if the market will support this much speed, they're definitely pushing the envelope, and giving Bell more things to worry about.

And now, Telus. Today we get news of their plans to include adult content in their mobile offerings.

Well, all I'll say is that the Telus branding phrase is "the future is friendly", which I've always liked. Somehow, I don't think this is what they had in mind, but it's certainly not out of character for a company that doesn't just dare to be different, but needs to be different to take on Bell.

I don't know how far U.S. mobile operators have gone with adult content, so I'm not sure if this is a first on a North American level. Probably not - but it's a big story up here. And as the article points out, mobile porn is big in Europe, which is more relaxed about these sorts of things. On the other hand, gay marriage and pot are basically ok up here, so who are we to throw stones at Telus?

There's a lot of editorializing and moralizing you can do around this, but I'm not going to get into that now. We all know that the adult market is huge, and is at the forefront of adopting new technologies, so if looked at in a vacuum, going wireless makes a lot of sense. One the one hand, porn is legal, so it's really a matter of taste. Just like people pay to get satellite radio so they can listen to uncensored programs like Howard Stern - if they're willing to pay, then there will always be a provider, so long as the regulators don't step in.

On the other hand, cell phones aren't the best endpoints for watching this stuff. And while Telus may derive some new revenue streams from this, and even gain some new customers just for the service, I suspect they will lose a number of female subscribers on principal, and this will probably give a high schools another reason to ban cell phone use onsite.

All told, if it works for Telus, you'd have to think that Virgin Mobile - just for the name alone - won't be far behind. Only problem there is that they use Bell's network, and Bell doesn't currently offer adult content. At least for now...

Speaking of Bell, with all these intriguing carrier stories, it's interesting that we haven't been hearing anything disruptive from them lately. Is this a concern, folks?

So, it may be REALLY cold in Canada these days, but things are really hopping with the carriers, and no doubt, there's more to come.


Technorati tags: , ,

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Tom

Mobile porn is freely available on the web; there's a misconception that people must obtain porn through their carrier. Sites such as www.csite.net and TomShark offer mobile porn, independent of mobile carriers.