Vodafone takes mobile web services to next level
Vodafone 360, a service that mashes together an app store, entertainment and social networking, will be available in Qatar next year
Vodafone is taking mobile services to the next level through its 360 service that combines a cloud-based address book for contacts, integration with social communities such as Facebook and Twitter, an application store and entertainment such as music and games - all accessible from a phone, PC or Mac.
"Vodafone 360 is the first service of its kind to offer customers the benefits of a truly integrated mobile internet experience that gathers all their contacts and content, all around them, in one place," said Pieter Knook, director of Internet Services at Vodafone Group.
It faces competition in the app-store space from other handset manufacturers including Apple, Nokia and RIM, but is able to offer its 315 million customers the convenience of having purchased application charges added to their phone bill.
"With Vodafone 360, we think Vodafone is right to position itself as an aggregator as well as a service provider," stated analysts John Delaney and Jonathan Arber from market research firm IDC earlier this week. "Rather than attempting to position this as an entirely new social network, as Nokia did with Share on Ovi, it is instead focusing on allowing users to bring together contacts and content from their existing social networks, and to share content to these networks."
The address book feature of 360 - Vodafone People -automatically synchronises all contacts from a customer's phone, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk, and will soon also include Twitter, Hyves and studiVZ. Once launched, it will be available on more than a hundred different devices for any customer on any network.
Vodafone's suite of internet services for the mobile and PC will first kick off in eight European countries by Christmas this year, with countries such as India, Turkey and Australia joining in next year.
Vodafone Qatar has also confirmed that it will launch Vodafone 360 in the country in 2010.