After spending billions of euros on acquiring new 3G (third-generation) mobile broadband licenses, billions more on building the sophisticated wireless networks and still more on promoting the high-speed data service, numerous mobile phone operators in Europe are now launching new no-frills, low-tech cell phones and services.
Talk about a u-turn.
The move to "less is more" comes as mobile operators in Europe fight to win and, perhaps even more importantly, retain customers in rapidly saturating markets.
"It's all about customer segmentation and about targeting a huge group of people out there who want nothing more than easy-to-use, inexpensive phones. These are people who aren't interested in a bunch of fancy data functions," said Emma Mohr-McClune, an analyst with Current Analysis Inc.
The most recent mobile phone company to enter the less-is-more fray is Germany's E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG. On Monday, the D