It looks like somebody at HP has noticed that I think and write a lot about mobile network infrastructure so I was invited to a number of interviews with key people managing HP products for mobile network operators. One striking thought I had during the discussion with Peter Dragunas of HP was that I need to turn my view on how telcom operators and web 2.0 companies could work together totally upside down. So far I was always arguing that the relationship between the two parties is difficult at best as Web 2.0 companies go for the global audience while network operators usually only have a national view. Dealing with hundreds of mobile network operators to bring their applications to mobile is a difficult task at best that few Internet companies will try to undertake. But what if the network operators went out and created services to link their assets to Web 2.0 applications instead of the other way around? Peter gave me a practical example: Telecom Italia Mobile has created an application with HP’s help that allows people in SecondLife to get a virtual mobile phone in their virtual TIM store and then send and receive SMS and potentially also voice calls between virtual phones and phones in the real world. Quite a fascianting applicatio and it’s easy to see how TIM can make revenue with the service. Peter could not say whether the idea came from TIM or SecondLife in the first place but I think it’s a good role model for other wireless operators to think about (mobile) web 2.0.
Anyone out there with other examples of how mobile operators reach out to the web 2.0 world?