Consultants divided on the success of mobile ringback services

COLLAB distinguished with the APDC / Siemens Innovation Award

Verizon Wireless is preparing for mid-2005 to launch a ringtone service on the North American market. ringback, a solution that many see as the next big thing in the mobile business.

Unlike ringtones, where the mobile phone user chooses the music he wants to hear when he receives a call, ringbacks are chosen and paid for by the caller.

Based on South Korea’s SK Telecom’s ColoRing solution, Verizon’s service will cost $ 0.99 a month, plus $ 1.99 a year for each ringtone chosen from a catalog of 2,200 songs, from 13 different genres.

ColoRing appeared on the Korean market in 2002 and after 12 months of operation, one third of the operator’s 18 million subscribers were users of the service, generating eight million dollars a month in revenue, according to data from Ovum, cited by the Associated Press.

Ringing services ringback they are also present in Europe, through T-Mobile or Vodafone, for example, but the European business is far from resembling Asian. For the whole of Western Europe, revenues of only US $ 16 million are expected for 2004, according to Mackenzie.

«The concept of ringing ringback it is not the easiest to explain and people who pay for the service will never be able to hear the music they choose – that is, it is a difficult selling service «, argue Mackenzie consultants who consider that the success of the functionality in some markets must be seen as a fad.

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