A senior Intel executive has told suppliers of GSM cellular telephone services to emulate Rupert Murdoch and expand their business into China, India and the Pacific Rim. At the same time he said GSM suppliers needed to learn some lessons from Intel in achieving dominance of a consumer market.
Steve Nachtsheim, vice president and general manager at Intel US, speaking at the GSM World Congress in Cannes today, lectured the assembly on how to improve its penetration of the consumer market.
Nachtseim said that Intel had recognised the importance of working with other companies to develop and grow the market ?for the benefit of all?. He said cellular companies should learn from Intel?s experience, which had direct relevance to GSM. ?That is stimulating new applications, attracting new users, branding and seizing the technology,? he said. ?Stimulating new applications is key to attracting new users. But the PC industry has shown that new applications have to be developed with cooperation between new sectors of the market.?
He added that the emerging Asian markets are ripe for new technology. ?The first Chinese language Web site, ChinaByte, set up by Murdoch?s News Corporation in Beijing, has seen one million hits in just two weeks, and the developers are overwhelmed at the interest.?
He was eloquent on branding. ?Intel has used the power of branding in the consumer business since the move from the 286 to the 386...back in 1989,? he said. That gave consumers the confidence they were buying the latest technology that worked with existing applications, he claimed.
Unlike Intel, no single GSM vendor had branded its presence on the market, said Nachtsheim. That, he said, was a pitfall. ?By promoting GSM wholeheartedly, manufacturers are promoting their competitors' products equally,? he said.
Selling the technology was a different matter, he said. Although Intel sells chips as its main business, the key was that people bought a solution. ?They buy a PC with software and peripherals that all work together, rather than pulling all the components off a shelf and trying to make them work together. Increasingly, telecommunications companies will have to come together with other industries to offer a complete solution to the user,? he said.
He made a final appeal to wireless data vendors. ?At the moment, mobile data is the preserve of highly targeted niche markets. If mobile data is to justify its bills, it must break out of its niches and address a wider audience. Mobile services must be perceived to be reasonably priced,? he said.
At Comdex/Fall last year, Intel said it had no interest in entering the GSM market.
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