Similar to UTSTARCOM, Mtone was also established by someone who
returned from overseas. The experience of Wang Weijia however, is
different from that of Wu Ying. At the end of the last century,
Mtone even initiated the wireless networking age. Wang Weijia also
won the reputation of the initiator of the wireless network industry.
Also called "a lonely warrior" once, Wang disappeared
after the wireless network influenced the whole China. It could
be understood that he finished the mission of initiating the industry
and disappeared if it were not because of the movie "Mobile".
Coming out again with "Mobile"
Many years later, people saw Wang Weijia again just a month before
the movie "Mobile" was publicly shown. Reporters at that
time did not expect any relationship between the movie and Wang
as well as his company. Wang was using a Nokia 7650. He said he
had been talking every day till he had headaches, and he was practicing
blind typing on the mobile phone. That actually insinuates the profit
support of Mtone. I suddenly thought about my cousin when I saw
Wang. As my cousin was once a telegraphy sender in the army, his
right hand fingers are always tapping as if they were sending telegraphy.
According to Wang Weijia, the failure at first was caused by "immature
market chance, low level of WAP mobile phone popularization, and
weak control ability of carriers, which led to the failure in forming
extensive and effective industry value link in time". Wang
believed that a lesson was taught about WAP and Mtone therefore
obtained much experience, especially in terms of risk evaluation.
"We will constantly adjust our strategies to adapt ourselves
to the market."
Through WAP business popularization experience, Mtone realized that
the chance for WAP had not grown mature, and more investments and
efforts must be prepared before profit making. Meanwhile, with the
strong confidence in the future of the WAP business, Mtone never
stopped tracking the WAP technologies and market.
In two years, Wang Weijia now believes that it is the right time
for the business to be picked up again. "WAP market has entered
a period of fast growing. Carriers also started the popularization
with full efforts. Besides, most mobiles in the market nowadays
can support WAP. There are more and more color screen mobiles, and
also more WAP services. Especially the user operation interface
is becoming better. So is the user experience with the product."
Therefore, recently a new product called "Mobile Funs (返字蕗弼寄鉱)"
entered the WAP business list recommended by the Monternet, and
occupied the top position. This is a special hit designed for the
WAP business. Mtone planned it fully leveraging "Mobile",
a movie sponsored by China Mobile.
With "Mobile Funs (返字蕗弼寄鉱)" as the pioneer, Mtone returned
to the WAP business. "We will launch scores of new WAP products
recently," said Wang Weijia. WAP naturally won a success with
the terminal functionality improved and user requirements increasing.
In China's wireless networking market today, entertainment service
turned out to be the part with the fastest growth rate and the most
mature mode. Mtone has accumulated much experience in providing
entertainment SMS service. As a result, the company reentered the
WAP business, taking entertainment products as the breaching point.
It is said that Mtone had established a professional R&D team,
and prepared enough story materials. Besides, Mtone also planned
long-term development strategies, expecting to take the leadership
again in China's WAP application development with Mtone's extensive
business experience of the wireless internet and the world-leading
wireless application technologies when the second WAP heat arrives.
According to Wang Weijia, Mtone recently will launch about a dozen
WAP products. "Mtone hopes there will be more profit increase
points, such as WAP," said Wang Weijia.
Don't count on "SMS"
Just like the fact that Wu Ying is the representative of UTSTARCOM,
even today many people only know about Wang Weijia, but don't know
Mtone. When Wang first entered China's market, he was called "a
lonely player". Although it may not be right to say that Wang
Weijia cultivated the popular wireless network market in China,
at least he initiated it first. On the one hand, Wang lost the first
campaign as the chance and market were not mature enough; on the
other, he was then given enough time to accumulate technologies,
man power and operation advantages. Today, with adjusted strategies
he is able to take the leadership in this market where he is no
Though the SMS business is growing fast, some analysts still point
out that as users are limited, a growth bottleneck will appear,
despite the fact that SMS features a long vitality and will not
be replaced within a short period. Therefore, to SP's, they must
search for the next profit resource, avoiding too much dependence
on the SMS business.
"Among the present mobile users in China, only about a half
adopts the SMS service. That means another half doesn't send SMS
at all. Suppose the SMS traffic of China Mobile within a year is
170 billion, China Mobile has about 170 million users (the data
at the time of this report). Accordingly, each user sends about
1000 SMS/year and 3 SMS/day on average, which is still very positive.
However, according to Wang Weijia, though Mtone doesn't worry about
the future of the SMS business, the company still invested actively
in the WAP business to guarantee its leadership in the new business
while maintaining the constant growth of Mtone's SMS business.
The real pressure for Wang Weijia comes from the industry itself.
SP's all attach much importance to the SMS business. As portal SP's
have a rich client resource, they enjoy more SMS development advantages
in comparison with professional SP's. In terms of services types,
professional SP's only provide the same as what portal SP's can
provide. This fact makes things difficult for professional SP's.
Therefore, the headache for professional SP's is how to avoid advantages
of portal SP's.
Another pressure comes from the similar professional SP's. At present,
there are about 600 SP's around the whole country. The low admittance
level let too many SMS companies in and as nonstandard elements
widely exist, the whole SP industry is endangered by the credit
From the angle of wireless network business, Wang Weijia believes
that most mobile services will be focused on entertainments. To
both Japan's WAP and SMS, the success of mobile services in the
whole world all rest with the application in the entertainment.
On the other hand, the commercial application is slower than people's
expectation. From the angle of commercial application, the consumption
application should be separated from group application. The former
is a success in Japan's market. Wang therefore suggests that China
should also start from the consumption application. While the group
application is partly limited in a short term as the basic environment
is not mature enough, though there are long-term needs for the group
Led by Wang Weijia, Mtone has turned from the original initiator
to a company that has to face many competitors from similar companies.
Therefore, the future position of the company will largely depend
on the Wang's judgment on the future.
Editor: As the first enterprise that initiated the WAP conception
in China, Mtone Wireless Corp. became the first WAP service vendor
in China in 1999; in 2000, Mtone, also called "leader net"
by people, started to provide special technical supports, including
application function development, information integration etc to
the WAP application of China Mobile; meanwhile, Mtone became one
of the main domestic WAP application technology developers and vendors;
more than half of WAP application services in China at that time
were provided by "leader net" (Mtone). Mtone was not rewarded
as expected as the market development and application mode are not
mature enough, and as the WAP mobile was not popularized enough.