Research Notes

Strand Classics – Old research notes in a new perspective. What can we learn from history?

Through the ages wise people have often stated that history repeats itself and that you can learn a great deal by studying historical events. Does history repeat itself in the mobile industry? Yes, it is very clear that history is also repeating itself in the mobile industry.

For the past 16 years, Strand Consult has specialised in describing the mobile market and how it is developing. Each year we have published our predictions for the coming year and for the past 10 years our predictions included a copy of our previous prediction, so readers could double-check our past predictions about the present market.

In this research note we have found some of our archived press releases and research notes and added a present-day perspective. Now you can judge for yourself whether history is repeating itself and whether one can learn from what we were recommending our customers seriously consider in the past. Here are the first three Strand Classics:

Strand Classic 1:
SonyEricsson is currently launching their new Xperia Play mobile phone, a mobile handset that is being marketed as a PlayStation mobile phone, but which cannot be integrated or function together with the millions of PlayStations that have been sold world-wide. We could easily write a long research note about this new mobile handset and the underlying concept, but have decided instead to draw our readers attention to what we wrote about a similar concept that Nokia launched in 2003, when they announced the first N-Gage mobile gaming phone The question is not whether there are similarities between Nokia’s and Sony Ericsson’s strategies, but rather how many similarities there are and how they will influence the success of the Xperia Play.

Strand Classic 2:
Many operators are spending a great deal of time and resources discussing their brand strategy and whether to use one or multiple brands to service their markets. In 2002 we described how Korean operators were very successful with their multi-brand strategies: One of the European operator groups that followed our advice was KPN. KPN was one of the first Western operators to copy parts of the Korean mobile strategies. Just before E-Plus launched using this strategy in Germany, we published this research note about the German mobile market in 2005: The results that followed speak for themselves; this is our research note from 2006 where we described the success of E-Plus. The question is not whether a multi-brand strategy is profitable, but how to best implement a multi-brand strategy.

Strand Classic 3:
Up to recently many operators believed that they could only do business by handling all tasks themselves including building and operating mobile networks, developing their own mobile telephones, developing their own value added services and naturally also handling all aspects of sales and marketing themselves. In 2006 we published a research note where we recommended that operators seriously consider outsourcing various core business areas and examine cooperation possibilities for sharing mobile networks Today we can see that an increasing number of operators have chosen that strategy and that those operators that have been most aggressive in this area are currently the most successful. The question is not whether operators should outsource, but rather how much of their business and exactly which areas must be outsourced.

We believe there is a great deal to be learnt about how to do business today and in the future, simply by examining and analysing past events. The historical facts show that even in the mobile world there are many similarities in past events to be learnt from – if you look in the right places!

If you would like to learn more about the knowledge and research that Strand Consult has accumulated through the past 16 years, you are most welcome to contact us. You are also very welcome to read more about the mobile reports that are currently most popular among our customers:

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