It’s the Little Things
I love days like today, when in among the stories about the network upgrades and the latest event to sign up for, you get a story that makes you realize why we all get so excited about mobile. Arriva’s mobile bus ticketing service, launched today, is the embodiment of what people talk about when they trot out the old line about no-one leaving home without their mobile every day. It’s not a world-changing move, just an easier way for people who travel by bus to buy their ticket. But as more companies like Arriva take the plunge into mobile after dipping their toes in the water, it will become one of a growing number of ways in which your mobile will make your life easier, more interesting or more fun.
So you buy your bus ticket on your phone, you sit on the bus and check the news and update your Facebook profile, you play a game to pass a few minutes. You could even call someone if the mood took you. I could go on, but hopefully, I don’t need to.
I applaud Arriva for the move, and a word too, for mBlox and its Sender-Pays Data scheme. When there is so much confusion among “ordinary people” about what it costs to go online on your mobile phone, Sender-Pays is a laudable attempt to simplify things. It enables mBlox to get the attention of companies like Arriva with the promise that they can go mobile without causing any alarm among their customers as to what it will cost them. After that, it’s down to the company concerned to educate their customer base that the service actually is free, something which Arriva does very neatly and succinctly on its m-ticketing microsite. And as services like this become the norm, that education process will only become easier, as we all become more familiar with using our mobile to do things we couldn’t do before. Who'd have thought anyone could get so excited over a bus ticket?