HP Labs India has introduced SiteOnMobile, a service which allows Internet publishers to make their content and services available on mobile via SMS and voice. HP went to the press with that PR-friendly “Internet for the poor disconnected masses, Hallelujah!” pitch, but this service really doesn’t adequately address key issues of consumer education, language barriers and GPRS settings. It’s not very clear from HP’s site, whether their service can read Indic language text.
The difference between SiteOnMobile and others is that HP appears to be going after a do-it-yourself publisher base that doesn’t want to depending on the vendor for integration: they have a web based interface allows the creation of Tasklets, which are accessible by IVR and SMS. Take a look at the video below:
These are typically pull based services, and a user has to request an action for content to be delivered. HP is providing its own SMS Gateway for the same, and there are two plans available:
– Free Plan: for content/services that are typically free, like horoscope or feedback forms.
– Premium Plan: for paying customers, where the publisher would rather pay, instead of making the customer think twice about using the service.
You might find publishers opting for the free option, but if going for the paid option, it needs to be competitively priced in the market. Hiring a vendor means that you’ll have someone set up the service for you. I’d be surprised if websites opt for the premium option for transactional services like ticketing, since that needs and additional integration of a mobile payments system; it’s more likely that this will be used for lead generation via mobile. According to Mint, HP is piloting this service with some undisclosed publishers, and is looking at a revenue share model.