Nokia pushes content: deal with Telefonica

Nokia is a lot in the headlines (and this blog) these days, but the good folks from Espoo are very busy, it seems. Today, they announced a deal with Telefonica concerning Nokia's content solution. This includes customizing the multimedia menu on Nokia's devices as well as cooperation on billing and some other technology issues. Whilst Ovi, Nokia's new open doors solution to the world of content, was not expressly mentioned, it very much feels like it, and this will be welcome news to Nokia that is said to be slightly miffed over the carriers' recent devotional tour past Apple and the monstrance iPhone; understandably, since Nokia never got a revenue share from carriers in spite of having carried a lot of the weight in developing device capabilities.

This would then be fantastic news for Nokia: finally a mobile network operator that does not throw the NCD off the Nokia devices. Telefonica said, it wants to ensure that customers have access to the best in Internet services. The goal is to drive a "dramatic" increase in user uptake of these new services over the coming years.

The press release mainly focuses on ease of use, easy access, etc, and this is indeed an area of concern for many carriers hindering a larger uptake of mobile content. Nokia natually intends to make sure that any multimedia experience will be best on its own phones rather than competitors' and this, coupled with its respectively designed Ovi service shall further solidify the Finnish giant's lead on the handset market. Carriers on the other hand have continuously struggled to deliver content to consumers in an enticing and exciting way. It became all too often painfully clear that content was not the stuff carriers knew well...

Besides the pretty obvious goals of both parties, it is a noteworthy deal as it may be one step in a shift of the "home of content" from operators/carriers to third parties: D2C has often struggled. On-device-portals were largely marred by carrier reluctance to support them (and often requests to wipe them off the devices), etc. With Nokia moving in, this might change: if this cooperation would indeed result in superior content experience (including the resulting increase in revenue for all parties concerned), this might trigger follow-on deals on both sides: the large OEM will be watching as will be other carrier groups.

Watch this space...


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