Steven Borne

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The search for "the next ringtones" has another contender, and this time everything seems to add up. Question: Name a service that launched with only a handful of compatible handsets, provided AM-radio sound quality, was barely marketed, but still managed to become a multibillion-dollar industry in three years. The answer: ringtones. In 2000, few people knew that phones were capable of more than just R2-D2 beeps, let alone sounds capable of creating a multibillion-dollar industry. But two years later, the UK ringtone market was already driving $71 million in revenue, according to the Mobile Data Association. Today, the worldwide ringtone market is worth more than $2.5 billion, according to an April 2004 Yankee Group study. That success begs a question: Are ringtones as good as it gets? What's a Ringback Tone? Ringback tones replace the standard ringing sound heard whe... (more)

Who Will Own Instant Communications?

"Instant Communications" will change communication habits and drive the communications revolution - with new revenues and new market positions for the communication suppliers. Someday, business schools will look back at the beginning of the communications revolution and evaluate how the decisive actions of the telcos, Internet portals, and other competitive communication suppliers led to their post-revolution positions. Soon wireline and wireless networks will offer a suite of instant text, voice, and multimedia messaging services on mainstream devices. Powered by a presence-ena... (more)