In 2002, KPN introduced the i-Mode services in Netherlands. Other mobile operators joined after it with similar implementations of “walled garden”. In that moment, the Japanesecompany DoCoMo was the leader in the mobile data services with their platform i-mode. DoCoMo provided the platform needed for the implementations under licences approach. This service was offered bythe mobile operators under subscription to their users. Some of the content for the platform was included in the plain tariff, and other content was offered with a small cost. The alliance between themobile operators and the content providers was strategic improving the value of their brands and keeping close the market. In the figure 1 can be observed the distribution of this organizationalscheme.
In July of 2007, KPN the same operator that brought the i-Mode to the Netherlands, announced their plans to shut down the service in the near future becausetheir limited success. KPN decided to leave the application market to focus more in the data transmission. Other mobile operators followed announcing the closing of their respective services. Suddenlyall the operators opted to eliminate the “walls” of their gardens and allowing their users to choose the content that they want.
The application market is really competitive. The low entry barriers todevelop made hard for the mobile operators been as flexible as small companies. Opening the WAP service and provide just the data transport will leave the mobile operators acting just like an ISP.The relation between them and the content providers will be eliminated. This model will leave the mobile operators with only the revenues from the data transfer This undesirable situation can beobserved in the figure 2.
The mobile operators have a big stake in this case. How they can open their WAP service without losing all the content business?. They can...