Phone News

 2007

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4th November    Amateurs ...
   
Phone sex companies look to increased revenue

  mobile phone

Global revenues from mobile porn and adult services are set to rocket to $3.5bn by 2010, driven by increasing adoption of streaming video and video chat services over 3G.

According to figures released this week by Juniper Research, Western Europe will remain the largest regional consumer of mobile porn, with revenues rising from $775m in 2007 to $1.5bn by 2012.

But Juniper also found that a significant proportion of new revenues are expected to come from the relatively underdeveloped North American markets, despite the existing restrictions on on-portal content.

Juniper analyst Windsor Holden said, While operators in the US and Canada are still very reluctant to introduce age-verification systems and offer adult content, it is a completely different story off-portal with a number of service providers now offering D2C [direct to consumer] content and services aimed at those markets. Furthermore, as mobile subscribers become more comfortable and familiar with the off-portal environment, then the traffic to these sites is likely to mushroom.

But while users of adult services are far less price sensitive than consumers of other mobile entertainment services, service providers should be careful not to overprice content.

While in most forms of mobile entertainment, the brand is king. That truism does not apply in mobile adult content, said Holden. The most popular genre amongst consumers is graphic, amateur content. If operators truly wish to maximise their revenues from adult content, then they should provide consumers with a mix of genres, in which white-label content is given equal prominence to that of major brands.

 

22nd September

    Dog-Eared Service ...

 
   

ICSTIS logoRip-off dogging service fined

From The Register see full article

A text alert service for doggers has been fined 20,000 by regulator ICSTIS for breaches of the premium-rate code, including signing up punters without their knowledge and failing to respond to "stop" messages.

The "Dogger" service was run by Zamano Ltd and provided vital information for those wanting to watch, or be watched, having sex in public places.

But punters only found out they'd been signed up to the service when they received a reverse-charged SMS, at 1.50, letting them know where they should be to get in on the action.

Zamano argued it had taken on the service from another provider, and claimed to have sent out notifications (free) to all customers on the database. However, as it couldn't provide any call records, ICSTIS dismissed the argument.

The service was terminated before ICSTIS got involved, but Zamano still has to cough up the cash to compensate aggrieved non-doggers who received messages.

 

9th September

    Premium Rates for New Logo ...

 
   

ICSTIS logoPhone regulator ICSTIS renames as PhonepayPlus

From a press release by ICSTIS see full article [pdf]

The premium rate telephone regulator, ICSTIS, will become PhonepayPlus on 15 October 2007.

We believe that PhonepayPlus will give consumers a much better understanding of the help and advice we can provide. PhonepayPlus will continue where ICSTIS left off. We will continue to regulate the promotion, content and overall operation of all services that are subject to our Code of Practice, and we will continue to take action against those companies who break our rules.

From early 2008, we will also start regulating all services offered on 0871 numbers.

PhonepayPlus will focus on pre-empting and preventing problems – the key, we believe, to effective long-term consumer protection and a dynamic, growing industry. We will be working closely with a number of organisations over the coming months on a range of new consumer protection, youth education and industry 'prevention rather than cure' initiatives. We want to have the right measures in place to engender an industry-wide culture of compliance where services are offered responsibly and consumers get a fair deal.

Other than our change of name, our postal and Freepost addresses, as well as our switchboard, fax, Contact Centre and Media Office numbers, will be unaffected. Our new website address will be www.phonepayplus.org.uk

 

1st September

    Static Mobile TV Take Up ...

 
   

Ofcom logoOfcom survey shows lack of interest in mobile TV

From U Talk Marketing see full article

The future of TV is mobile, the network providers would have us believe. But users are giving television on mobile streams the big thumbs down.

According to the recently published Ofcom UK Communications Report, of all the communications services available through mobile phones, it's watching TV that has the least appeal.

Of all the new services, the ability to watch TV clips on a mobile device is noticeably regarded at as the least valuable, ranked as not at all valuable by over 50% of adults and as extremely valuable by only 3% , reads the report.

young people are not buying into the opportunity to watch short TV clips on a mobile device. More than one third (36%) of 15-24 year olds say this service has no value to them. Half of 25-44 year olds agree with them older mobile users considerably disinterested in the service.

The findings will be of concern to mobile provider 3 which has been championing and investing heavily in mobile TV. In April, the mobile media company launched a new range of free-to-access content for customers. Video content includes a selection of news, comedy, celebrity gossip, animations and film supported by personalised advertising from major brands.

 

20th July

    Mobile Standards ...

 
   
EU logo

DVB-H selected for mobile TV in Europe

From Pocket-Lint see full article

European officials have finalised the choice for the single standard for the roll out of mobile TV services across Europe.

Out of the seven standards available, they have decided on DVB-H.

The European Union believes the market could be worth over 13 billion by 2011 and a spokesperson stated:

Adopting the DVB-H standard in the UK could cause problems as it would mean freeing up parts of the radio spectrum.

The BBC reports that the UHF band, which is identified by the EC as the most suitable spectrum for multimedia mobile services, is unlikely to be freed up in the UK until the digital switch-over is complete in 2012.

 

2nd July

    iPorn on iPhone ...

 
   

iPhoneiPhone WILL be a success - it's going to have porn!

From Tech Digest see full article

Adult entertainer Digital Playground is whacking up a staggering 158 trailers for iPhone users, in a move that clearly cements iPhone's success. We all know that the ready availability of quality pornography is the single biggest factor in the success of any new format.

Digital Playground President Samantha Lewis said I'm so honoured to know that Digital Playground is the first AGAIN. I'd like to thank all of our friends at Apple... and we'd like to thank Digital Playground for helping us 'review' the video playback facilities of iPhone.

Although, what's really happening here is Digital Playground's just uploading a load of old trailers in standard mobile video format. They're not really just for iPhone. It's a bit of a PR trick.

 

15th June

    Full of Holes ...

 
   

Swiss flagSwiss Airheads ban softcore from phones

From 24 heures

Selling soft-core porn on portable phones will now be against the law in Switzerland, as the government votes to extend the existing ban on hard-core material.

The Swiss State Council has voted 25-4 to ban the sell of X-rated films and pictures on cell phones. The councilors argue that the ban is necessary to protect minors under 16 from easy access to disturbing material. The series of recent gang rapes involving minors is said to have weighed heavily in the decision.

The vote is a reversal for Christoph Blocher, Minister of Justice and Police, who argued that existing Swiss laws already prohibit the sale of porno to minors. But Rolf Schweiger, the councilor from Zug who proposed the ban, says that the existing legislation is inadequate.

In a porno cinema or sex shop, one can control the age of the clients. But telecom operators and their distributors have no means to do so; users can be registered under the parent's name, explains Senator Schweiger.

 

25th April

    Improved Mobile Internet Billing ...

 
   

Orange logoPay per byte replaced by pay per period

From The Times see full article

The French-owned group, Orange, which has 17 million UK customers, will unveil new tariffs that will allow mobile customers to have unlimited access to the net for a daily or monthly fee, or else pay for short "snacking" sessions. Access to basic news headlines and some search services will be free. At present, customers are charged per unit of data they use.

The move by Orange to simplify charges is part of the latest attempt by mobile operators to encourage customers to take up more lucrative data services and finally transform "3G" into a mass-market product.

To date, customers have remained defiantly uninterested and today 96% of mobile revenues are still generated by plain calls and texting. Orange, in common with its rivals T-Mobile and 3, which have moved to flat-rate tariffs, believes that the slow uptake for internet services is down, in part, to confusing pricing.

The traditional way of offering access to the internet, priced per unit of data downloaded, usually per megabyte (equivalent to 20 web pages), is deemed deeply confusing by many customers.

 

16th February

    Soft Sell ...

 
   
Playboy logo

Softcore UK channels advertise via WAP

From Brand Republic

Playboy TV UK is to become the first media owner to run previews of its content on WAP mobile phones.

The soft-porn channels will allow consumers on its opt-in database to download 30-second promotions of each episode of its reality TV programme Double Entry .

Customers unable to download streaming video will be able to access colour photos from each episode.

The initiative comes as Playboy TV embarks on what it claims to be its biggest-ever marketing campaign, as well as on-air rebranding of its three channels, PlayboyTV, The Adult Channel and Spice.

The channels' rebranding will nclude revamped logos, on-screen graphics and channel idents,

A fourth channel is scheduled to launch in July. The relaunch kicks off on May 26.

 

7th February

    Self Regulating Code ...

 
   
EU logo

European mobiles go self regulating

From X Biz

European telecom operators, content providers and organizations have signed an agreement to develop self-regulating codes by February of next year.

23 companies agreed to help control minors from accessing adult material via mobile devices and support awareness campaigns in an effort to protect children from pedophiles and prevent access to porn and violent images.

This agreement is an important step forward for child safety, the EU's Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said. It shows that responsible self-regulation can work at a European level.

The telecom operators also agreed to enable parents to classify unsuitable content and customize their children's mobile devices. Parents are also encouraged to read available safety information and talk with their kids about the risks of using cell phones.

 

4th February

    Telus Leads the Way ...

 
   

Telus logo...With adult video for Canadian phones

From Contact Music

Telus, the Canadian phone company, has started selling adult videos for viewing on cell phones.

Noting that such content is already available to anyone who can access the Internet on their phones, a Telus spokesman told Canada's National Post newspaper, that it had been able to determine from examining the number of searches on Google or Canada's Canoe portal that there is a segment of the population that is interested in that content.

He said that Telus had not attempted to find out whether rival telecommunications companies in the country were also planning to offer porn. But we're fairly certain that if our competitors in Canada haven't launched it, they will soon. Same in the U.S., he said.

Update: Complaints

Telus is charging $3 to $4 per photo or video.

Spokesman Jim Johanssen nited that Telus has put safeguards in place to stop minors from viewing it, and to ensure that the content is legal.

But said that 135 customers have registered complaints with the company.

 

10th February

    Update: Telus Nonsense ...

 

Telus logoCanadian Bishop rails at mobile phone porn

Definition of religious thinking: Nonsense In, Nonsense Out

From The B.C. Catholic

Vancouver Archbishop Raymond Roussin, is expressing great concern about Telus Mobility's decision to offer cell-phone pornography.

QuetzalcoatlCanada's second largest phone company started offering pornographic photos and videos to its customers last month, and confirms it has been receiving complaints from supposedly upset customers.

Archbishop Roussin said, Telus Mobility has crossed the line which brings the problem of the accessibility of pornographic material further into the public realm.

He noted that considering the problems pornography is causing in society the move is especially ill-considered. Given the increasing awareness about the problem of sexual addiction to pornography through Internet access, and the abuse that this perpetuates of vulnerable persons, Telus's decision is disappointing and disturbing.

The archbishop plans to raise his concerns with parishes and schools throughout the Archdiocese of Vancouver. He is also considering directing Catholic institutions to terminate their contracts with Telus Mobility.

 

22nd February

    Update: Nonsense Prevails ...

 

Telus logoTelus suspend adult downloads

From AVN

Canadian communications company Telus announced it has suspended its adult-content downloading service for mobile phones.

Since January 2007, Telus had registered and verified the ages of several thousand customers for the purpose of allowing them to download nude photos at $3 each and nude videos at $4 each. Out of approximately 5 million cell-phone users, only 135 customers complained about the company's offering pornographic content.

T he Vancouver Catholic Archdiocese on Feb. 16 called the downloadable images of nude women and men "pornography" and had 130 parishes and schools cancel their contracts with Telus Mobility.

Surrey, British Columbia, resident Gordon Keast recently filed a lawsuit against the company seeking the termination of his service contract without having to pay cancellation fees. With news of Telus' decision to cease offering downloadable adult content, Keast said he feels "vindicated," although according to a small claims court in Surrey, Keast has not yet withdrawn his lawsuit.

[Providing adult content] is not a business our customers want us to be in, said Telus Director of Media Relations Jim Johannsson. There was a fundamental lack of awareness among the people who called or wrote with concerns that cell phones are Web-enabled devices. Parents should take the same precautions about letting children use cell phones as they do with their home computers that are connected to the Internet.

 

20th January

    Mobile TV Disappoints ...

 
   

lobster phoneNot a sexy service

From The Guardian

Watching TV on a mobile phone has proved less of a turn-on for British consumers than the telecoms industry had hoped, with Virgin Mobile understood to have sold fewer than 10,000 handsets for its mobile TV service, despite a major advertising campaign.

Virgin Mobile, part of the cable group NTL, launched the UK's first broadcast TV service for mobile phones in October with a 2.5m push fronted by the former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. But despite recently cutting the price of the one handset that can receive the service, called the Lobster phone, it has not been a hit.

Virgin Mobile TV - or VMTV - was the first such "broadcast" service. It is backed by BT Movio, part of BT, and uses the digital radio spectrum to broadcast TV. Viewers can watch simulcasts of BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and E4 as well as ITN news. Customers willing to sign up for a monthly contract of 25 or more get the phone and TV for free.

Pre-pay customers, meanwhile, get TV free for the first 90 days and then must spend 5 a month to keep watching. Virgin Mobile recently dropped the price of the handset. Virgin Mobile hopes to have a range of new mobile TV handsets later this year. It is also looking to introduce new services such as allowing people to download and store TV programmes on the device for viewing while in areas that are out of coverage - such as on the London Underground.

Rival networks, however, maintain that the problem with VMTV is its range of channels is too small. The results of Virgin Mobile's own consumer trials in London, for instance, showed triallists watched an average of 66 minutes of television a week. Its rival O2 carried out a trial of a service with 16 channels in Oxford and its users watched a weekly average of four hours of mobile TV.

 

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