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A Champion for Mobile Application Discovery

According to a recent assessment by Current Analysis, 3UK has demonstrated once again that a forward-looking mobile phone service provider can dare to be different -- they can champion an open business model and encourage thought-leader collaboration.

3UK launched a mobile Internet application and services microsite, entitled neXt. The site is designed to act as a free, community-built guide to mobile resources on the Internet, open to both 3UK customers -- and those of other mobile networks.

The 3neXt Web site catalogs independently-developed applications and mobile-optimized sites for mobile Internet-capable devices, and allows users to review and rate them in a blog-like environment.

Current Analysis says they're positive on the 3neXt upside, as this community-centric site will allow 3UK to monitor Mobile Internet discovery in action -- warts and all.

Getting end-users to rate, review and recommend new mobile-enabled sites, software and applications will allow the operator to identify future usage trends, without the cost or investment in application, platform and device customization.

Current Analysis offered four suggestions for improvement:

- 3UK should use 3neXt as an extension of its application development research. This site will alert 3UK to highly popular, problem-free applications and software which can later be folded into the X-Series initiative, or promoted elsewhere in Planet3, and 3UK should be ready to respond by adopting and promoting highly-popular applications.

- 3UK should allow 3neXt bloggers better alias visibility, preferably with icon representation. As it stands, the general design of the application review page is dull and uninviting.

- 3UK should allow its top bloggers a hierarchy of self-ranking, indicative of their expertise in the mobile application space. This will help readers assess the value of the reviews and advice on offer, and add to the fun and community-spirit of the site.

- 3UK should incorporate links to other mobile tech blogs within 3neXt, as this is now a standard feature of all good blog practice and user-generated behavior. Currently, 3neXt is just a little bit too close to the walled-garden bulletin board for comfort.

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