Mobile carrier Sprint Nextel has made some interesting announcements this week, but it comes in the wake of the announcement that revenue in the third quarter are down by a reported 12 percent. The company did see gains in its stocks last week, but overall the stock is down nearly 75 percent year-to-date. This comes after last Friday’s announcement that the carrier lost 1.3 million wireless subscribers in the third quarter.
The company is looking to turn things around, and maybe going long could be the strategy. Sprint recently announced that subscribers with a Sprint TV-capable phone along with an unlimited Sprint NFL mobile package will be able to view eight NFL games, live and in their entirely directly on the mobile handsets. In addition, the customers will be able to receive full access to pre-season games shown exclusively on the NFL network. Given that the 2008 professional football season is rushing to the end zone, this seems a little late, but hey there is always next year Sprint!
Mobile Info with 2D Barcode Solution
The other new feature is that Sprint customers will now get instant links to mobile information with the 2D barcode solution from Scanbuy. Sprint has announced the new type of barcodes (which are simple black and white images) will provide a unique interactive experience in the form of data, Web links, MP3s, video streams and personal files. Sprint customers can use select Sprint phones to instantly unlock the information from the 2D barcodes.
“Sprint is excited to launch Scanbuy’s 2D barcode technology, which combines with the speed of the Now Network to give our customers a new way to access information they want the instant they want it,” said Len Barlik, vice president of wireless and wireline services for Sprint. “Mobile barcode scanning promises to help customers quickly get to information and services.”
These barcodes can be found in magazine ads, movie posters and other locations, and can save consumers from needing to remember a Web URL. The ScanLife application is available for download and is compatible with more than 30 Sprint phones – data subscribers can download the application at no additional charge.
And while this is still a gimmick that seems a bit too marketing focused – why do marketing types think people will go out of their way to see ads anyway – the potential is big, especially since it makes accessing special content all the easier. Imagine seeing a poster for a musical artist and being able to snap a picture of the barcode and then hearing the song, or seeing a movie poster and being able to catch a trailer, now that’s marketing that makes sense.
But a step further would be to go to a bus stop or train station and click on a barcode to get schedules. The key is that people want information, not just advertising. And if Sprint can lead this maybe they’ll stop losing customers.