Foresight scenarios indicated already in the late 1990’s that mobile commerce would become significant. The reasoning is simple: the rapid development of mobile technology will drive a growing mobile services industry which will be an integral and growing part of mobile commerce revenues. However, the adoption of new mobile services has been much slower than expected. Basic services such as SMS, ring tones, icons and logos are still the most popular services. Several reasons have been suggested for the slow adoption rate, ranging from cultural issues to business models. In this paper we argue that the business strategies used by the mobile network operators (MNO) may be a reason why mobile services are not growing. We use results from a longitudinal study 2003-2007 to make our case, and then we show some mobile value services as an illustration of the role played by the MNOs.