Vodafone Chief: VF not a dumb pipe

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 Arun Sarin (Vodafone CEO ) has said any content providers wishing to launch D2C (direct to consumer) services will always have to work with Vodafone.

Apparently, speaking to the Financial Times, Sarin stated that the ‘unique gift’ of billing secures it and other operators against becoming “dumb pipe” for data – for examples from those such as Google, Nokia, and Apple.

He said: “The simple fact that we have the customer and billing relationship is a hugely powerful thing that nobody can take away from us. Whoever comes into the marketplace is going to have to work through us.”

The original FT article also noted that Vodafone holds valuable CRM data about their customers, plus info for location-based services – which is a fair comment.

What do IntoMobile readers make of this? It’s easy to see both sides of the argument for Content/Service providers working with, or “ignoring” the Operators – but which will win out? Will it be context-dependent? Your thoughts are most welcome in our comments section!

[Via: Mobile-Ent.biz]

  • Rex

    Doesn’t this sort of talk highlight the importance of net neutrality?
    I believe that both a company and its customers’ best interests are served if the company evaluates its every decision from the viewpoint of whether it adds value to the customer or not.
    Let’s say there’s a mobile iTunes/Nokia Music Store, that competes with Vodafones’ own offering. How does it benefit me as a customer if Vodafone starts demanding a piece of the action from the rival music stores? i.e., what value is Vodafone adding for me by doing so?
    Let them compete on a level playing field- if their own music store is so great people will come to it of their own accord.
    Dumb pipe for data indeed. That’s EXACTLY how we perceive service providers- just as my electricity and water providers are ‘dumb pipes’ for the same.
    I don’t pay my electricity company a tax for the appliances that I connect, why should I do the same for my mobile/internet provider?

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