- Xtra, Xtra, Read all about it
- Mobility goes live
So you're reading this on Monday not on Friday and yet it's the Friday FryUp not the Monday Moron so what's the story, I hear you asking?
Well, this time it's all my own fault. I can't blame the subs, the technology, the editors or even Edward (who makes sure the email goes out. When I send him the email in the first place, that is). Put it down to forgetting that I'd agreed to spend all day Friday flitting about in a helicopter watching the Rally of New Zealand, courtesy of Inmarsat, a fine company against which I will not hear a single word said.
Actually, Inmarsat is an interesting company. No, no. Really. The company was originally set up as a quasi governmental body that would pool resources to get satellites up into space so we could all benefit. When the government agencies that were involved were all privatised one by one, our own Telecom and Australia's Telstra among them, the company was also privatised and has made that transition remarkably well. With only 440 staff it has an annual turnover of around $US440 million.
In the next couple of years Inmarsat will launch three more birds, of which it expects one to fail miserably, and will begin offering a broadband (440Kbit/s) satellite service. Expect to hear more about the global area network in the months ahead.
So thanks to Michael Storey, boss and president of Inmarsat, and to the rest of the Inmarsat team who showed us a fine time. Storey looks like everyone's favourite grandfather and is the only man I know who travels with a box set of Cuban cigars at the ready. I blame him entirely for the delay in publication of the FryUp.
- Xtra, Xtra, read all about it
And so you should. Very carefully. In fact, any ISP's terms and conditions should probably be gone over with a fine tooth comb.
Not only do most include a clause that insists you and you alone have to keep up with any changes that may be introduced to the contract, but some of those changes can be quite alarming.
Xtra introduced a new condition that seemed to give it the power to sell your content to anyone it felt like. Wide open definitions of your content (any email, photograph, file, posting, yadda yadda) and a clause that said "you grant to Xtra a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide licence" had the peasants in an uproar, and rightly so.
Xtra argued that it needed the clause only so it could do things with the content that people had already given it, but that's not what the lawyers I spoke to read.
The problem is twofold: firstly, Xtra isn't just an ISP or a news portal. It's both, and trying to fit one set of terms and conditions to both sides of the business just isn't that easy. Secondly, Xtra didn't explain to anyone why it was making this change - it just said the change was being made. More communication is required.
However, things have taken a turn for the ugly, if Friday's Aardvark is anything to go by. Bruce Simpson has been contacted by an Xtra user claiming to have had her content re-posted by Xtra without her authority.
- Mobility goes live
Like the headline? Telecom's Go 27 programme alongside Vodafone's Live? Go Live? See? Well it was a bit of a struggle but what can you do?
The marketing armadas have set sail and are preparing to clash over the greatest of hidden treasures, the ARPU. Telecom is first to hit the high seas with its hurriedly revamped Go 27 campaign telling us all about what the phones will one day be able to do.
Meanwhile, Vodafone has launched a full-on barrage with its Vodafone live! campaign. Vodafone live! is supposed to offer easier-to-use phones, with icons instead of scrolling menus, better screens and speakers, cameras and greater PXT capability and a better all-round product suite. Of course, you'll need to buy a new phone to do all of this, but you can get bits and pieces of it - the polyphonic ring tones, the cameras and so on - in older handsets.
Telecom, on the other hand, is pushing the tie-in between Telecom and Xtra with content re-designed for your device, as well as instant messaging between 027 users and the promise of more in the future.
Interestingly both have gone for the sports branding tie-in cross-over opportunity - Vodafone with the Warriors and Telecom by giving Xtra its Super 12 sponsorship space. Both are offering exclusive content to supporters.
So who will win the ARPU (average revenue per user, for those that care) race? Well, at the moment there are plenty of morsels for end users to chew over so perhaps we will all end up doing more with our phones than, you know, talking to each other.