It also doesn’t helps if you don’t live in London
Vodafone UK has finally managed the commercial roll out of its 4G/LTE network to those living in London today [August 29th 2013]. Which means that Ofcom handed EE (formerly Everything Everywhere] virtually a ten month lead in 4G over its rivals – 3UK, O2 and Vodafone. However, here at GoMo News we think that the most irritated Vodafone customers will be those who like Formula 1 racing (F1) or who already own a 4G ready Nokia Lumia 925 handset (for example). That’s because there’s no Windows Phone 8 (WP8) version of Sky Sports Mobile TV and F1 isn’t included in the Sky package offered to Vodafone 4G customers.
We’re not really surprised that Vodafone isn’t too worried about the Sky package it is using to entice customers to sign up to 4G does not include F1.
At the end of the current F1 season , Vodafone is quietly dropping its sponsorship of the Woking based McLaren team as we revealed here.
But are content packages the best way for mobile operators to attract consumers to their 4G offerings? Mark Windle, head of marketing with OpenCloud, doesn’t think so.
“The exclusive arrangement is often short lived,” he says. “Consumers will flock to a
particular network to take advantage of the offer – but eventually the content provider will relinquish the exclusive rights, offering distribution deals to all of the networks.”
What’s Mark’s solution? Introducing new applications and services that leverage real-time information about the subscriber is the best way to differentiate, Windle suggests.
“This is a battleground where they can win, but instead they’re being beaten at their own game by device manufacturers and OTT players,” he argues.
“The irony is that it’s the operators that are better placed to innovate, because unlike their OTT rivals they can develop applications that fully exploit both the device and the network.”
Interestingly, Ian Brown, CEO with Axell Wireless, doesn’t think which part of the country you live in will eventually matter. It is where you are trying to access the 4G network that will prove important.
Operators can adopt new technologies to propagate mobile phone signals into a building. Both the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, released by Ofcom, provide a well needed increase in spectrum to support new 4G services, Brown believes.
Which is why Vodafone places so much stress on in-building coverage where its flavour of 4G will enjoy considerable advantages over EE’s.
After all, Ofcom has ruled that in-building 4G coverage must be available to 98 per cent of the UK population by 2017.
It seems to GoMo News that EE is going to need Brown’s help because his company just so happens to provide distributed signalling systems which can overcome the problems of in-building signal penetration.
And now back to those extremely disappointed F1 fans who’ve made the mistake of owning a Nokia Lumia. GoMo News originally thought the (legal) way out was to subscribe to Now TV (see here ).
However, we’ve looked at the list of devices which the company says will support its service and it isn’t anything which can receive streamed video as we thought.
Now TV seems to be using the same highly restricted app which BSkyB developed. How very disappointing.