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T-Mobile bitten

In the world of PR, sound-bites are the sliver of seared foie-gras adorning your steak.  Having carefully constructed a story and a position, your hope is that a clever sound-bite will hook the reporter, and provide the flourish, the finish, that will really make the story fly.  In my days at Microsoft, we used to spend the last bit of preparing for any media briefing crafting the “sparklers” as we called them.  It’s good prep-work.  Unprepared, you can get quoted out of context — or sound-bited — as we used to call it.  That is the exact opposite of a carefully message.  It’s the out-of-context remark that becomes the story.

So what happened to T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan when a recent IDG headline screamed “T-Mobile CEO: VoIP will have no major impact“?  Was he quoted out of context?  Or is he, as Andy Abramson suggests, just not getting the point?

The IDG story itself is more balanced than the headline.  Akhavan talks about the problems of reachability, emergency services, and other technical issues that impede the progress of VoIP on mobile.  He also discusses the perception that consumers have, which is that VoIP is free or low cost.

By and large, he’s right.  These are hurdles.

But no impact?  There’s no doubt that if T-Mobile wants to compete in Europe, they’re going to have to have an offering to compete with FMC offerings in France and the UK.  They will have to have to figure out presence.  And they’ll have to figure out how to make an integrated offering with their fixed-line carrier partners. 

Somehow I doubt that these facts have escaped Hamid Akhavan. 

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