How to make 3G mobile phone services pay

Most supposed technologies for 3G phones: streaming full length movies to people travelling on the tube etc, are stupid. People don't want to watch 10 minutes of Titanic whilst wedged between sweaty commuters on the circle line, for a fiver.

Video conferencing from street corner to street corner would be lovely, but you need lots (and lots and lots) of mobile phone masts, and lots more for the countryside. People who like phones don't like living under mobile phone masts. The DC power requirements for sending a 3G AV stream may also do bad things to your battery-life.

The only way to recoup your 3G auction money and perhaps even make a profit, is to find a new way of using phones: something people want to do on the move, that can be controlled under subscription. Something that doesn't leech your bandwidth to buggery, and with fairly cheap content, incorporating advertising that doesn't upset people by its intrusiveness. And the kids, and those who have lifestyles like kids, they need to love it.

Here it is:


Mobile interactive multimedia broadcasting.

You pay your subs and you get access to the mocast.

A mocast is a single video stream coming as a broadcast, that any mobile phone user with a subscription can dial in to. Everyone in the cell can access the single datastream, so it uses only a small amount of your bandwidth. It is a one-to-many cast: a TV channel on your mobile phone, but operating like a radio station (with a MoJ rather than a DJ).

You can alternatively broadcast it on FM (somewhere between FM radio and TV signal frequencies), or via DAB technologies, if you roll the relevant chipset into your mobile phone. Scramble the signal and unscramble it using your mobile phone as a subscription key. Operate it with a Bluetooth headset, the audio on the headset, the video on the phone screen.

Now we get to the interactive bit.

Going the other way, you are hooked in using old 2G bandwidth, to talk, chat, send mail and text messages through the system to the MoJ (like a DJ) who is broadcasting, and to anyone else subbed (subs paid and dialled in) into the system. A mobile chatroom and wide-area-texting system.

Release your GPS signal for online MoJ led games and prizes with screen displays that show you the MoJ, pop videos as you hear songs played, messages, and games played against other contestants (ie. using GPS, chase/locate games).

Using your built in camera you can also send images and video that is then mocast to all the other viewers.

It is pay-radio for mobile phones, and charged using micropayments on your mobile phone bill.

There should be bandwidth for more than one mocast channel in any cell, and they can be national or regional, with different types of music, aimed at different audiences. Like commercial radio, with adverts, but with video.

The BBC are actually broadcasting digital radio channels through TV set top boxes, but this is how the medium should develop, because (as Sony proved with the Walkman), radio is a mobile technology. We just need to extend it appropriately. The BBC are sending radio to TVs without a picture. Mocasting sends radio to mobile phones, with video.

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