Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Vodafone attempts to recreate P2P sharing experience on mobile

Today Vodafone Japan launched a new service “Recomail” which allows Vodafone subscribers to recommend content such as ringtones, wallpapers and flash animations to their friends.

Using the new service, when a customer purchases some content they want to share, they can send the content file to their friend’s phone. Content supporting the service is protected by DRM and so the recipient must first pay for an access key in order to unlock and access the content. Recomail can be sent by MMS, Bluetooth and Infrared or the content can be physically exchanged via memory card.

The aim of the service is to create a DRM protected P2P-style mobile content distribution network between Vodafone customers. It’s a nice idea but I think there are a few downsides – a) sending a Recomail by MMS costs money, b) the service is only available for Vodafone’s 3G customers (only 20% of Vodafone subscribers), c) not all content supports Recomail d) what would be really great would be some kind of function to preview the content before buying the DRM key.

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