[Dave Birch] I’ve often heard bankers, and mobile operator persons, say that the “Japanese model” doesn’t apply elsewhere because Japan is such a special case. This came up again in a discussion this week. In particular, goes the argument, the Japanese spend all their time bored on public transport so they use their phones to do stuff that folks in the UK prefer to do on the Internet. Really?

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Looks like the UK kids are all becoming exceptions then, according to a report from the UK Market Research Bulletin (11/06): over half of 16-to-24-year-olds prefer to access internet content from their mobile network provider via their mobile, according to a study conducted by market research company Harris Interactive. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed preferred using mobile internet to access their networks additional service. The survey, which sampled nearly 3,000 UK consumers, also returned a similar result for the 25-34 age bracket, with 53% preferring to access mobile internet content through their network provider. However, 76% of over 55s favoured accessing only what their mobile company made available.

I think that as NFC makes the usage of phones in Europe more like the usage of phones in Japan, so the lessons of the Japanese mobile payments world will become more relevant and more useful. One of the key lessons is, frankly, the inexorability of the integration. We’re all familiar with the story of DoCoMo: starting with Edy then developing iD and launching the DCMX line of credit. Now the second operstor, KDDI, has gone down the same road, except that their “au” platform will be delivered with a JCB credit product rather than an “own brand” like DCMX.

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]

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