As we begin to see MVNO trends really take shape, how does the experience to the user change? I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this lately.
Disney, ESPN, and AMPed are just a few rather new MVNOs, which will begin to shape how users experience the mobile lifestyle. Instead of having to deal with a carrier middleman, content providers will be able to control the whole experience down to the billing and payment. It will be much more about brand recognition, and much less about infrastructure quality.
The service pricing will influence the brand. Service pricing will be just as much a part of the brand, as much as a brand will be about its pricing. What sort of implications will this have on brands? Will it mean that one is more premium, one is more economical? What is the monetary essence of Disney?
It is especially interesting, too, to consider the type of targeted content that will now be available. As a third party developer knowing that all my users are age 18-25 on X MVNO makes it much easier to deliver a specific product to a targeted demographic. More specificity will be available, and as such, more opportunity to sell directed content. This I see as a big win for many different parties.
Even more so, though, as a designer I am interested in how this new “total experience” is going to influence the consumer experience in each product. In general, I think it could make the whole experience easier for users to understand. From an interaction stand point, the experience will now be more inclusive: hardware purchasing, service, and content will all be controlled by one brand. Bundling all these price points to really drive a product, both limits choices but makes things much easier on the end user. [Apple does this very well!] For example if I want to purchase the latest mo-blogging phone software, maybe my MMS service becomes cheaper. Or if I want streaming TV or radio, maybe my dataplan is automatically unlimited, without me having to choose that option too. The focus shifts from service to function. What do I want my portable device to do? The pricing, service, and even hardware for the best experience could then naturally come along with it.
I see a big powerful shift beginning to emerge. As we understand better how to cater the entire experience, I think we could also see content adoption process eased and more varied [not just games, wallpaper, and ringtones] content sales.