Mobile aggregators must take responsibility, say operators
04 January 2006
The continuing damage that scams and questionable practices are doing to consumer confidence in the mobile content industry has led operators to call on the aggregator community to step up their responsibility.
Operators believe the aggregators, which deliver mobile content services for content providers, must be more proactive in policing the industry.
The last six months have seen the industry hit hard, with rogue companies damaging the market through, for instance, badly operated subscription services, savaging consumer confidence in mobile content.
Operators have moved fast to introduce a raft of successful self-regulation measures, but they now want to see aggregators increase their efforts.
"We shouldn't have all the responsibility for policing this environment," said Orange head of third-party services Ben Hirsch. "The aggregators are playing a key role, so what's their legal and regulatory perspective for taking more responsibility for the services they're putting through to customers?"
However, aggregator WIN said that it was taking responsibility.
"This was one of the main reasons I was recruited," said Sally Weatherall, head of legal at WIN and NOC Excom member. "I'm personally dealing with a complaint at the moment that's gone to Icstis from one of our clients which originates from when they were with a competitor. But that's because they're with us now and they trust us as an aggregator."
At Vodafone, head of commercial partnerships Jeremy Flynn and also an NOC Excom member, said the aggregators were good at responding to warnings from operators but they needed to become more proactive.
"They have become very good at handling a red card from the operators," he said. "The issue is that structurally none of them has moved into proactive mode, and the reason is that the content publisher will simply hop to another aggregator."