New delivery platform for content providers

Etisalat is launching a new service delivery platform by the end of the year that aims to revamp how the operator interacts with content providers.

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By  Alex Whitman Published  October 16, 2005

Etisalat is launching a new service delivery platform by the end of the year that aims to revamp how the operator interacts with content providers. “Developers load any type of content onto the platform,” said Omar Al Muzakki, Etisalat’s mobile services business development manager. Etisalat then delivers the content to the customers via different channels, for example SMS, MMS or digital streaming. “The service can detect whether the phone has the capabilities to successfully use the content,” says Al Muzakki. The system segregates the content and services according to compatibility with different mobile handsets or other devices, meaning that users are not burdened with content downloads or service offers incompatible with their model. The new platform effectively rules out all technological contact between the content developer and the end user. “The developer has one link to Etisalat. We store all of the content, and then have the connections to the customers,” said Al Muzakki. To enhance the ease of use, customers are only required to remember one number, unlike a string of codes from each individual developer. “There will be one short code for everybody, and from there they’ll be able to select the content they want,” Al Muzakki said. With only one number to remember, customer usage should increase substantially, and with it revenues for both developer and Etisalat. Regarding issues of revenue, Al Muzakki said there are three options for content providers. “Either the content is branded by Etisalat — with Etisalat responsible for the marketing — it is co-branded, or solely developer-branded.” If a content developer goes it alone, they take 65% of the revenues; Etisalat takes the remaining 35%. A co-branded partnership sees both take 50% each, while an Etisalat-branded and marketed deal will give 35% to the developer. But not all content will be allowed onto the platform, he admited. “Each developer has to first obtain Ministry of Information approval,” he said. But Etisalat still then has the right to block content itself, with Al Muzakki claiming that even with a license, a developer’s content still requires continuous checking. Al Muzakki says that Etisalat has also been in talks with Japan’s NTT DoCoMo for the past three months regarding its i-mode content platform.

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