The Reconfiguration of Mobile Service Provision: Towards Platform Business Models
27 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2009
Date Written: September 18, 2008
This paper introduces and analyses four potential business models for emerging mobile service platforms. For each model, a real-life case is described and briefly analyzed. It is found that platform strategies - focused on the control of core assets on the one hand, and on complementarity and open interfaces on the other hand -, permeate the models introduced by the stakeholders vying for dominance in this market. In particular, these strategies and models differ strongly according to the specific set-up and control of crucial, 'gatekeeping' roles.
Current dominant stakeholders in the mobile market, i.e. mobile network operators, are confronted with limitations when trying to attract users and service developers to their platform due to a walled garden approach, and are seeking ways to attract larger constituencies. Emergent platform business models championed by other types of actors focus on exposing capabilities and on offering service enablers in a more open manner, while migrating control over some, or all, of the gatekeeping roles away from the operator. Building on some of the strengths of these models, a potential evolution of the current telco-centric model towards a more balanced platform model is outlined.
Keywords: Mobile service provision, Business models, Platforms
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