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THOUGHT: The silent dead of the first German 3G operator - Quam
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 25.07.02 - 11:18:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 7916x
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"They had a dream" when Quam (Germany), the joint operator from Telefonica (Spain) and Sonera (Finland), got a 3G license for Germany for 8.5 Million € two years ago. As reported now, Telefonica as well as Sonera wants to freeze their 3G activities in Germany and the rest of Europe (Austria and Italy).

As hard as it for the employees is it a miracle? No, it isn't! Quam doesn't has any own network infrastructure today but uses the 2/2.5G network from E-Plus to start operation right before 3G is available and acquired with 800 employees - 200.000 customers only (60% of them prepaid customers). Here in Germany we have /had) six nationwide 3G operators/licenses (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus, O2, Mobilcom/France Telecom and Quam) and the question everybody had was if a country with 80 Mio. inhabitants needs 6 operators while it is even hard enough for four 2/2.5G operators to run profitable and personally I don't think so. On the long run we will see four 3G operators only and today starts the future.
I think the most important time in all 3G activities is right now. Today, the operators has to define the §g strategies and today they have to position themselves as "the" data operator and the ways, the German operators do it is pretty different:

While T-Mobile will launch the MDA as their first data device and cooperate with the sister company T-Online (internet), O2 has already launched the xda and Blackberry. Vodafone is pretty silent on this topic today (at least in Germany) but I'm sure they have something in the pipe. E-Plus tries to position themselves with i-mode as a future data operator while Mobilcom/France Telecom is currently acting as a Service Provider only without external and additional products. Quam never had something own, not a network, nor a device and at least no ideas and was completely clueless.

The bottom line? 3G operators have to develop the mobile data markets today, they have to develop user benefits today and they have to develop the products today! It this fails, 3G will fail and we will not seen anything fancy but mobile phone, which are operating on a different frequency only...

Side note: Because Quam is located in Munich, the German center of (now insolvency) dot coms, we will see more unemployed here within the next weeks. That's not such a good situation... From June last year to June this year, the joblessness increased for 31% here... I see a bad, dark and boring future - not only in the telecom area... :'-(

Cheers ~ Arne

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