I think Carlo really nails it in his writeup of PayPal mobile. I would just put some additional stress on the “force that onerous revenue share down to more acceptable levels” role that PayPal can play. I’m very very happy to see something like this happen outside the carriers just because I suspect it will make the carrier solution down the line much more palatable. Cellular carriers have one really solid competitive advantage over other kinds of networks we see springing up, and I think it’s their billing relationship with their customers. If carriers can find a way to make that a service they provide to content providers and other online services it gets interesting. Right now they’re trying to use that billing relationship to try to control everything that the cellular user touches. That’s not going to work long term, there’s only so much you can roll up under one roof, and carriers just don’t have any competency at all in the things they’re trying to roll up.
This was a lot of the focus at the Mobile Monday we had about digital identity. The carriers are in a great position to provide value added services instead of trying to strangle a higher and higher percentage out of the existing channels they control. I think it would mean a boost for mobility in general. For me the PayPal service means that the carriers can’t think they control that payment relationship, there’s a way around them. It’s not something that most people would do, but it’s still a crack in the wall around the garden. And I hope that forces carriers to think different about the way they prepare their offerings.