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But almost a year after MMS was fist launched in Europe, the service is still struggling to gain momentum.
In the U.S. operators are just beginning to offer MMS.
T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG and an MMS pioneer, said last week that it sold 500.000 MMS handsets in Europe and the U.S. by end of January, and during January 500.000 picture messages were sent by its customers. That suggests people with MMS phones are sending on average just one or two pictures a months. However, a T-Mobile spokeswoman says the number of MMS messages sent on its networks doubled from November to December and the company is confident usage will continue to grow. But some analysts now believe it could be as late as 2007 before the service becomes a mass-market phenomena. One stumbling block is that operators have been slow to set up agreements with other operators that allow messages to be sent from one network to another.
More important, MMS handsets and services appear to be priced too high for a key group of users-teenagers, who are typically avid users of text messaging.
T-Mobile’s MMS charges vary by country, but in the U.K., customers have to pay 35 pence (51 European cents) to send a picture message or they can buy bundles up front, such as 10messages for £2.50. Handsets with built –in cameras and high-definition color screens typically retail for 200 E in Europe as part of a service contract.
Thorsten Dirks, chief innovation officer at the German unit of Dutch operator KPN Mobile NV, speaking at the technology conference in Hannover, says MMS will take off later than many in the industry had hoped because it is now the service depends on low phones with built-in cameras. “It will take some time”, he says.

But Rudolf Groger, chief executive of the German unit of British operator mmO2 PLC, says his company has had some success selling cheaper MMS phones without built-in cameras. He says mmO2’s customers with MMS phones in Germany are sending an average of five to six picture messages a month.
For now , industry revenue from MMS is very modest. Research firm Shosteck Group based in Wheaton, Maryland, says that the multimedia messaging market in 2002 totaled just $100 million (E90.5 million) in Europe and nothing in the U.S. In Asia, where Japanese operators launched phones with built-in cameras as early as 2000, picture messaging accounted for $1.8 billion in revenue last year, the research firm said. But even there the service hasn’t proven to be a surefire money-spinner. Jane Zweig, Shosteck’s CEO, says South Korean operators have enjoyed a lift in revenue from MMS, but in Japan their counterparts have had to cut the price of the service to maintain interest.
“In Japan, the novelty has worn off and ARPU [average revenue per user] has gone down”, Ms. Zweig says.
Although European operators have so far kept MMS tariffs high, T-Mobile France Telecom SA’s Orange unit and others have slashed the price of Internet browsing, e-mail and other mobile data services to try to persuade consumers to use them. Nikesh Arora, chief operating officer of T-Mobile, says that only one in five of the customers who have tried T-Mobile’s mobile data services are using them regularly. “We have to get people to try it for the second on third time”, he says.
Eventually, operators may have to slash MMS charges, too. Analysts believe operators have plenty of scope to cut MMS prices, as it costs them just a few cents to send a picture message. The cost of adding a camera to a handset is falling, and even low-end phones will probably include one as standard eventually. T-Mobile says customers with phones built-in cameras send twice as many pictures as those with ordinary MMS handsets.
Some analysts believe operators can kickstart the market by setting up services in which consumers receive MMS messages containing media content, such as an extract from a new pop song and some pictures of the artist. Telecom Italia Mobile, a unit of Telecom Italia SpA, has already launched a service allows football fans to receive pictures of their team scoring a goal just moments after the ball hits the back of the net.
But employers, which tend to pay higher ranking employees mobile-phone
….. frown on some of the new services. In London restaurant, Sue Jackson, a marketing executive with a U.S. Internet firm a London, shows off her shiny new Nokia color-screen phone. But she says doesn’t send any MMS messages; her employer has disabled the MMS functions her phone and those of her colleagues keep a lid corporate phone bills.

Lupta mesajelor multimedia in Europa

Operatorii Telecom spera ca noul serviciu sa ia avant

Hannover, Germany – La ziua lui de nastere, augustul trecut, sotia lui Andrew Finkelstein’s i-a cumparat o camera atasabila noului sau mobil cu ecran color.
La inceput, comerciantul financiar de 34 ani din orasul Londra gasea amuzant sa trimita prietenilor fotografii prin posta electronica dar nu a mai folosit camera in ultimele cateva luni. ”Este ca o jucarie, apoi te indrepti catre noi jucarii”. ”Nu are aplicatii practice”
Asta nu e ceva ce operatorii de telefonie mobila din Europa si US vor sa auda.
Operatorii sunt angajati sa convinga clientii sa-si foloseasca telefoanele pentru a trimite unii-altora fotografii si mesaje audio. Mesageria Multimedia sau MMS, cum sunt cunoscute aceste servicii, considerate cea mai mare speranta a operatorilor, de dezvoltare majora a noilor surse de venit adaugandu-se la cele din mesajele text. Dar la aproape 1 an dupa lansarea in Europa a MMS, serviciul lupta inca sa castige teren.
In U.S. operatorii abia au inceput sa ofere MMS
T-Mobile, o unitate a Deutche Telecom AG si promotor al MMS a spus saptamana trecuta ca s-au vandut 500.000 accesorii MMS in Europa si in US pana la sfarsitul lui Ianuarie si in decursul lui Ianuarie au fost trimise de catre clienti 500.

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