This paper is about the marketing of the next generation of mobile phones. It begins with comments on the state of the telecom industry and draws attention to elements of technological and product convergence, highlighting the point that while industry convergence on digital technology is a fact, today’s mobile telephony marketplace is nonetheless characterised by three generations of technology and the latest generation, 3G, embraces three related but competing standards. The paper examines 2G, 2 and a half G and 3G developments around the world and identifies factors relevant to the marketing of 3G, including recognition of geographical and user diversity and the consequent need for marketers to keep these various user perspectives in mind. There is recognition of the financial pressure on telephone operators and of the sometimes emotional and fickle preferences of telephone users. However, customer desire for personalisation, including personalised 3G services, are important features of the marketplace, as will be the availability of simple, secure payment systems.
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