Orange has signed an agreement with Xiam Technologies, for the provision of its My Personal Offers System (MPOS) which will give customers real-time recommendations across the Orange World Portal.  MPOS will help Orange World customers to discover personalised content that is relevant to their own specific interests.

MPOS will ensure Orange customers discover and consume a broad range of content and services that are both relevant and meaningful based on their unique profiles. For example a football fan could expect to be offered 'FIFA 2007' game and a 'Chelsea' wallpaper based on the club they follow, then be presented more subtle, unexpected recommendations based on usage patterns identified by MPOS and filtered according to individual user profiles. MPOS can recommend content across different categories and suggest content that the customer may not otherwise find.

Jim Small, Portal Relevance Manager at Orange UK said, "It is the first time our customers will be able to access a diverse range of content services through a tailored recommendations page on Orange World that is based on the intelligence we have gathered from each user's previous visits. For us it is about enhancing and personalising the customer experience, whilst increasing customer loyalty and content revenues.  We believe that Xiam's MPOS technology will help us do this".

Colm Healy, CEO of Xiam explains, "Xiam's MPOS will help Orange Customers to find the content that interests them. It has been developed to address the need to treat each individual subscriber on a one-to-one basis and this is central to the recommendations solution which will present individually customised content suggestions for each customer coming to the Orange portal. Based on the premise that in the fast moving world of mobile content, with a small densely loaded interface, helping the customer to get to the right content in an easy and efficient way is vital in providing a meaningful portal experience."

Xiam's system will provide a number of different recommendation mechanics on the Orange Portal enabling customers to access content across all content silos, in their own personal recommendations page, irrespective of their location on the portal. This aids content discovery and navigation by linking together different but related content formats. For example a user could access ringtones, games and wall papers from the same location.

Mobile Media Company Player X is working in partnership with Amobee Media Systems to launch in-game advertising for its portfolio of mobile games.

 

The first titles to launch under the ad-funded model include FremantleMedia's Sale of the Century, Strike it Lucky, Sensible Soccer Skillz, Space Invaders, Family Fortunes and ToCA Race Driver3.

Under the partnership, Player X has integrated Amobee's Handset Application Programming Interface (HAPI) into its games. The HAPI is a small SDK that can be integrated to make the games ‘Amobee-ready' and conditioned to take ads.

Consumers will be offered the chance to opt into the ad-funded games, receiving a discount on the purchase price in return for being served ad impressions at the game launch, exit, and during the idle time between game levels.

Subscribers have the option of engaging with the advertising brand for additional information by clicking to call, browse or send an SMS. Users are in full control and can opt not to view the ads and continue playing the game.

"Ad-funded content models have the potential to transform the mobile content business, giving the end user more for less while generating an additional revenue stream. We see this model and our partnership with Amobee as a crucial step toward building the development expertise and look forward to working with them," said Tony Pearce, Player X CEO.

The use of advertising to fund mobile services will significantly increase the consumption of mobile content and generate a new revenue stream for operators, according to live trial results released by Amobee Media Systems.

Aggregated data from multiple trials with tier one operators, shows that for every person that paid to download a mobile game, between five and 10 times more took the ‘ad-subsidized' version in return for accepting advertising. The ad-funded game value can be worth as much as four times the equivalent download value.

"Player X is taking the lead in innovating new models for mobile media. Operators can now launch ad-funded games with very little effort and generate ad revenues while increasing the overall penetration of mobile games," said Patrick Parodi, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager EMEA at Amobee.

JumpTap, the specialist in the mobile search and advertising solutions, has announced that it has launched services on Telefónica, the first operator in Spain to bring a complete search and advertising solution to the mobile screen.

JumpTap has deployed a comprehensive mobile search and advertising solution for Telefónica, serving contextual banner ads on the home page and throughout the content verticals on the operator's movistar emoción portal, as well as delivering sponsored search links within the Games, Images and Music channels. In the first months of working together, the JumpTap search and advertising solution twice sold out Telefónica's entire display advertising inventory - a first for any mobile operator. Sony Ericsson, Warner Music, Gameloft, Vivendi Games Mobile, Coca-Cola, Buongiorno, Terra, Barclays Bank, PrisaCom and BMW are amongst the first advertisers to launch mobile campaigns on this new medium.

"As the leader in the market, it was essential we deployed a search and advertising solution that would enhance the user experience without being intrusive. The mobile screen is too small to make mistakes," said Susana Rodriguez, Director of Online and M-Commerce at Telefónica. "The JumpTap solution seamlessly integrated into the movistar emoción platform and delivers search results with highly relevant sponsored links - associated to the search - along with high impact, contextual advertisements throughout the portal."

Rodriguez continued: "Mobile advertising is still in its infancy, yet major brands are already recognising the huge potential offered by this new medium. Advertisers are recognizing that no other channel comes close in terms of combining audience reach with the ability to interact on a personal level with targeted subscribers, as well as having the results associated with their campaigns in an online way."

Telefonica is said to be the number one operator in market share in Spain, and every month over four million people access movistar emoción. As the majority of Telefónica's handsets are enabled for WAP, the number of mobile searchers and browsers is expected to rise drastically over the coming years. Jupiter Research predicts by 2011 that over $13B will be spent on mobile advertising annually.

"We are delighted that a globally recognized regional market leader is taking such a big leap forward with new technology the way Telefónica has done. It demonstrates a tremendous commitment to the future of mobile marketing. This move will undoubtedly be commercially beneficial for advertisers who now have access to a new, young demographic on the most interactive and personal medium we have seen to-date," said Dan Olschwang, President and CEO of JumpTap.

JumpTap has solutions deployed by numerous operators worldwide. Telefónica represents JumpTap's first commercial deployment in Europe.

Alcatel-Lucent has announced the enhancement of its Open Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) Program, established to ensure that WiMAX operators have access to a wide variety of terminal devices, with the expansion of its relationships with two key players in the WiMAX CPE market, Intel and Kyocera Wireless.

Alcatel-Lucent has expanded its interoperability testing (IOT) efforts with Intel to ensure the compatibility of Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX infrastructure with CPE and consumer electronics devices integrating Intel's latest fixed/mobile WiMAX silicon, the Intel WiMAX Connection 2250 as well as its WiMAX MIMO-capable chipset for mobile devices. Under the successful research and development collaboration and co-marketing agreement Alcatel-Lucent and Intel signed in 2004, the two companies have made strong progress in their joint efforts to promote the WiMAX ecosystem, successfully completing IOT for fixed applications and now engaging in testing of chipsets and infrastructure supporting nomadic and fully mobile services. Devices based upon Intel's WiMAX chipsets are expected to be made available for fixed and nomadic services before the end of 2007, and for mobile services in 2008.

Alcatel-Lucent also has signed a joint development agreement with Kyocera Wireless to collaborate on the development of end-to-end wireless broadband solutions incorporating Alcatel-Lucent's industry-leading IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard WiMAX infrastructure and a variety of wireless devices from Kyocera including multimode mobile phones, non-traditional wireless devices, wireless PC cards and USB devices for PCs. [Please see joint announcement from Alcatel-Lucent and Kyocera Wireless, September 25].

"The growing strength of our Open CPE Program shows how quickly the WiMAX ecosystem is maturing," said Karim El Naggar, head of Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX business. "Together with our existing partners, these new initiatives with Intel and Kyocera will further enhance, in strict compliance with the WiMAX standard, our ability to provide WiMAX operators with the variety and quality of wireless devices they need to offer customers a whole new kind of mobile broadband experience."

"Alcatel-Lucent's Open CPE Program has been an asset in our efforts to foster a vibrant ecosystem featuring a wide array of wireless terminals," said Raviv Melamed, general manager of Intel's mobile wireless group. "While initial platform efforts focused on conventional wireless access methods such as PCMCIA cards and MiniCard modules for laptops, we are now seeing the emergence of a broad range of devices such as mobile gaming consoles, cameras and other consumer electronics devices that can all reap the benefits of broadband mobile connectivity."

"As a developer of end-user solutions that will harness the power of WiMAX, it is our goal to look beyond traditional devices to create a new category of products for mobile broadband," said Dave Carey, vice president, strategic planning at Kyocera Wireless Corp. "Alcatel-Lucent has shown a commitment to help make this a reality by continually growing its Open CPE program to include other companies that share this common vision, we look forward to the ongoing efforts between our companies to extend our collaboration within Alcatel-Lucent's WiMAX ecosystem."

To watch a video presentation, click here:

Orga Systems, the specialist in convergent real-time billing, has announced that Georgian mobile operator Geocell has selected Orga Systems' Media Control Point (MCP) real-time data charging solution. 
 
The convergent charging platform MCP enables mobile operators to provide high value data services for pre-paid and postpaid users within a short time to market. This on the one hand helps to increase revenue. The real-time charging capabilities on the other hand help to eliminate revenue leakage for all SMS, data and content services.
 
Pre-integrated with the OPSC Real-time Billing System, MCP enables operators to manage all charging-relevant transactions of IP-billing in real-time and guarantees flexible pricing models and advanced IP session management.
 
Orga Systems' MCP is a carrier-class solution based on the DIAMETER charging protocol that delivers a real-time charging and mediation platform for both messaging (SMS/MMS) and "always on" IP (GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA) data sessions.

Bridgewater Systems has announced its proven AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) Service Controller is fully compliant with the WiMAX Forum's NWG Stage 3 Release 1.0.0 specification, supporting a broad range of functions including EAP authentication methods and mobile IP and key derivation required for mobile WiMAX.

By being agnostic to various access technologies as well as vendor-specific solutions, the Bridgewater Systems AAA Service Controller is able to support a wide array of access networks and vendor equipment types on a single platform.  This concurrent support enables operators to gain a unified subscriber view with a common subscriber policy and profile repository serving all access networks - an important consideration for service providers who are extending their networks with other technology alternatives such as WiMAX.
 
In addition to extensive mobile WiMAX support such as mobile IP, the AAA Service Controller features dual protocol support for RADIUS and Diameter, as well as broad supplemental authentication protocols such as EAP, EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS.  It provides a future proof solution by enabling a smooth migration path from fixed to mobile WiMAX deployments.
 
As a principal member of the WiMAX Forum, Bridgewater is actively involved in contributing to the development of WiMAX standards, in particular the WiMAX Forum's NWG Stage 3 Release 1.0.0 specification as it relates to authentication, accounting, and policy management.

Airspan Networks, a provider of WiMAX and Wi-Fi based broadband wireless access networks, has announced the availability of its Wave 2 MIMO Mobile WiMAX software, which will be used for its existing HiperMAX base station.

HiperMAX, with the new MIMO software, will begin undergoing validation trials with one of Airspan's major Mobile WiMAX customers in the fourth quarter of 2007 and is expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2008. The HiperMAX base station is designed to deliver class leading operational range and capacity and fully supports all MIMO modes of operation when used with a Wave 2 MIMO client device.

Paul Senior, Airspan's chief technical officer said, "We are very pleased to announce this software-only upgrade to the HiperMAX platform. We believe that this product is the most flexible and forward looking in the industry. With HiperMAX already supporting an advanced version of Fixed WIMAX, this new upgrade allows our customers to seamlessly add Wave 2 MIMO Mobile WiMAX."

In addition, Airspan also announced the development of high power Dual Channel Radio Transceivers for the 2.5-2.69 GHz WiMAX frequency band. These new dual channel radios will operate at up to +40dBm and support channel bandwidths up to 20 MHz. These new transceivers will be available for trials in the second quarter of 2008 with mass commercial deployment expected in the third quarter of next year.

Paul Senior continued, "2.5-2.69 GHz is the WiMAX Forum's flagship certification profile that has mandatory support for MIMO. These new, high power, dual channel radios will support 5 and 10 MHz operations and in the future will also support 20 MHz profiles without any hardware change. This is another demonstration of Airspan's ‘software only upgrade' philosophy that we believe minimizes a carrier's capital outlay and ongoing operational expense."

Xiam Technologies today announced its agreement with Vodafone Ireland to manage the technical and commercial inventory of its Mobile Advertising proposition as part of Vodafone's recently released Mobile Internet portal.

Xiam will use its MPOS (My Personal Offers System) technology to serve ads on Vodafone's  new Mobile Internet portal. Xiam will also provide extensive ad management, reporting and campaign management to advertisers.

With Xiam, advertisers can present interactive advertisements on Vodafone's Mobile Internet portal such as animated click through banners which can bring users to the advertisers mobile site or purchase content and services directly.

Chris Handley, Head of Mobile Internet and Content at Vodafone Ireland, comments "At Vodafone we see mobile advertising as a significant opportunity to augment revenues whilst improving the portal offering and Xiam's proven commercial and technical know-how will bring the best to the channel for both advertisers and subscribers. We are delighted to announce Xiam as our partner for the advertising channel."

Colm Healy, CEO at Xiam comments, "We are really excited about bringing our MPOS technology to Vodafone Mobile Internet. Its ability to reliably track ads and combine real-time responses with data such as usage history, purchase history or credit rating to target ads more precisely will be a real driver of the channel for both Vodafone and advertisers.
Feeding this data back into campaigns leads to higher response rates and allows advertisers to maximise return on investment."

Launch advertisers to appear on the portal include a mix of international and domestic brands including Xbox, Pepsi, SonyBMG, Halifax, Warner Bros., Irish Rail, Daft.ie, Carzone.ie, and RTE.

Vodafone have launched a new flat rate data tariff as well as a revamped portal design to make it easier for their users to find content. For advertisers, mobile provides much higher response rates than traditional media particularly with youth segments who are increasingly deserting traditional advertising media in favour of new media.

Seeker Wireless, the zone detection technology provider, and HP, have today announced that their joint Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) solution has been deployed to deliver virtual fixed-line services via mobile phones in Eastern Europe. 

The solution is said to have been deployed by one of the largest mobile operators in Eastern Europe and is providing consumers and businesses with "fixed-like" telephony services in the home or office via mobile phones.

The solution eliminates the need for cables and outlets in the wall, enabling subscribers to benefit from fast and easy access to telephone services, which also include a range of value added services such as SMS.

SeekerZone from Seeker Wireless has been created for the growing FMS market and is designed to encourage subscribers to use mobile phones instead of traditional fixed-line phones, by introducing special price plans for users based on their location. SeekerZone detection technology is based on the SIM card and enables mobile operators to roll out "fixed-like" services to all areas covered by their mobile networks.

Unlike first generation HomeZone solutions, based on older Cell-ID technologies, SeekerZone can deliver 99.5% in-zone reliability with a zone size that varies from 100 metres to 500 metres in most environments, significantly reducing potential revenue leakage.   
HP was the System Integrator for the solution based on SeekerZone. HP managed the overall project delivery and ensured the timely launch of the service. As part of the delivery, HP also provided the Intelligent Network platform, enabling real-time, accurate billing, as well as managing the smooth integration of SeekerZone(tm) into the operator network.

Colin I'Anson at HP says: "Fixed Mobile Substitution is an important part of mobile operator strategy as it enables operators to expand their business and drive revenue. We partnered with Seeker Wireless because of their innovative approach to zone detection and their ability to make FMS truly profitable for operators."

Dr Chris Drane, Chief Executive Officer at Seeker Wireless says: "FMS services are particularly significant in emerging markets where traditional fixed-line infrastructure is less prevalent. In these markets, FMS solutions like SeekerZone enable mobile operators to leapfrog traditional fixed-line services to capture additional usage and revenue. The innovative technology behind SeekerZone ensures that mobile operators maximise revenues from FMS services by delivering high in-zone reliability and tight zones around the home or office."

More than 100 million handsets with touch screens will be shipped in 2008, according to a new study from ABI Research. Increasing numbers of handsets with touch screens have started to appear in the market, including the Apple iPhone, the LG Prada, the HTC Touch, and the Ultra-Smart F700 from Samsung, as well as the P990, M600, and W950 handsets from Sony Ericsson. Touch screens and touch pads are gaining popularity and becoming more common on handsets, while helping to make the handsets more intuitive, pleasant, and efficient to use.

According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "Handsets with intuitive user interfaces allow quick and easy access to various applications and services and can result in higher ARPUs for mobile operators by generating greater usage of their value-added services. Mobile operators are therefore keen to promote and market handsets with good UI on their networks." In the past, many smartphones and high-end handsets with a good number of attractive features have been commercial failures, simply because their user interfaces have been too complex and difficult for convenient use.

ABI Research expects that more than 500 million handsets shipped in 2012 will sport a touch-based user interface. "A good handset UI is important not just to meet and exceed users' expectations," notes Pandey, "but also to support fast and flexible design changes, operator customizations, and late software distribution, while maintaining low demands on the hardware."

Axel Technologies, a provider of multimedia middleware for mobile devices, and Siano Mobile Silicon, a supplier of semiconductor solutions for Mobile Digital TV (MDTV), have announced a platform for DVB-H terminals - with a 'record-fast' channel switching time of less than 2 seconds. The platform will be demonstrated in a mobile phone at the Informa DVB-H conference in London, September 26-27.

 

The companies feature a comprehensive, highly optimized DVB-H solution, compliant with the MBRAI 2.0 specifications, based on Siano's SMS1010 integrated mobile TV receiver chip, and Axel's Salmonstream DVB-H middleware. Among other features, the joint offering is claimed to obtain the industry's fastest channel switching time of 2 seconds.

The solution is targeting DVB-H enabled cellular phones, smartphones, laptops, PDAs, pocket TVs, PMPs and GPS systems.

DVB-H is already commercially deployed in Italy and is expected to be further deployed in additional countries within the next 9-12 months, including Germany, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, and more.

"The combination of Salmonstream, Axel's leading DVB-H middleware and the SMS1010, Siano's integrated receiver chip has enabled us to offer a fully optimized DVB-H solution, which achieves an unprecedented channel switching time," said Petri Kalske, CEO of Axel. "We are working very closely with Siano to provide our customers cutting edge technology, that will result with the most enjoyable and innovative user experience for DVB-H consumers."

"By integrating the fastest DVB-H receiver in the market with the most compact, efficient DVB-H middleware, we were able to obtain the industry's fastest channel switching time," said Alon Ironi, CEO, Siano Mobile Silicon. "At the same time, we have provided evidence that the commonly believed myth about DVB-H being slower than FLO is no longer relevant, and proved, that the two technologies are practically equivalent."

"Towards the major DVB-H launches expected in the first half of 2008, Siano and its partners are focused on perfecting the DVB-H offering so as to enable our customers to introduce devices that people love to use," added Ironi. "The idea of mobile TV is to take the experience of watching TV at the living room - out to the street, and onto the end user's palm. This means crystal-clear, multiple-channel, real-time audio and video experience packaged into an easy-to-use application - and this is exactly what Axel and Siano offer."

IPWireless, a subsidiary of NextWave Wireless, has today announced that it has opened a new development centre in Aalborg, Denmark, to meet the growing European operator demand for TDtv -- a mobile TV technology developed by IPWireless that uses existing 3G spectrum to deliver high-definition, multi-channel mobile TV, digital radio, and other multimedia services at the lowest possible cost.  The Aalborg facility will focus on developing TDtv terminal designs, MBSFN protocol stacks design, unicast/multicast integration as well as advanced development projects based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

The Aalborg TDtv development centre will support the commercial deployment of TDtv technology across Western Europe. The team has extensive background in telecom software development and 3GPP software for W-CDMA implementations.  IPWireless expects the center to employ over 40 engineers by the end of the year.

The centre will be led by Henrik Dalsgaard, a telecommunications technology expert with over 20 years experience in the wireless communications industry.  Mr. Dalsgaard previously directed a major research and development facility at Nokia, and was one of the founders of the wireless start-up WirTek.

"TDtv technology provides operators the ability to profitably deliver advanced, multi-channel, high-definition mobile TV services to their customers.  It's a proven technology that is now ready for full commercial deployment," said Dr. Bill Jones, chief executive officer and co-founder of IPWireless.  "The exceptional engineering team at Aalborg will play a crucial role in accelerating the rollout of TDtv in Europe." 

"We are very excited to see an innovative company like IPWireless make an investment in Aalborg," said Mr. Jesper Jespersen, managing director of NOVI, Aalborg Science Park.

"We are privileged to have a wealth of highly experienced engineering talent in the Aalborg area," added Jon Thorgaard, deputy head of Invest in Denmark, a department of the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "40 companies and more than 3,000 wireless communications professionals live and work here."

The Mobile Marketing Association, which represents more than 450 companies across the mobile marketing ecosystem, has today announced the release of its Mobile Advertising Guidelines tailored specifically for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The guidelines are designed to foster the uptake of mobile advertising by global brands as well as enhance and protect the customer's experience.

The guidelines make it easier for marketers to develop mobile advertising campaigns while ensuring the campaigns are delivered consistently on the majority of mobile devices ensuring a positive and consistent consumer experience.

"As marketers embrace the power of mobile advertising to create and deliver engaging campaigns, so must the ecosystem demonstrate the strength, quality and potential of mobile." said Laura Marriott, President, Mobile Marketing Association.   "The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines launch is a landmark event in our mission to establish a consistent approach for mobile marketing. The guidelines will play a critical role in ensuring all players in the ecosystem see mobile advertising as a natural option for brand communication as a means to deliver targeted, meaningful and rewarding connections with consumers."

The guidelines provide important information including how to purchase and use Mobile Web advertising, how to use Mobile Web Banner advertising, recommended aspect ratios and banner dimensions, maximum file sizes, file formats and other technical specifications.

The GSM Association, which represents more than 700 mobile operators worldwide, and the dotMobi Advisory Group (MAG), both support the new guidelines.  "These guidelines have broad support among mobile operators, enabling advertisers to quickly create compelling campaigns for the mobile medium that will be effective across many different networks and geographies." said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer of the GSMA. "Our collaboration with the MMA will help bring economies of scale to this nascent and exciting new market, enabling it to reach its full potential to the benefit of all players in the ecosystem."

"The Mobile Internet is fast emerging as a mainstream information, entertainment and transaction source for people on the move. It is vital that the industry has a frame of reference for effectively implementing such initiatives," said Richard Saggers, MMA EMEA Chairman and Head of Mobile Advertising, Vodafone Group "The EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines reinforce the MMA's commitment to providing industry specific guidelines on both a regional and global level. The guidelines are key to driving the development of the mobile advertising industry forward in the EMEA region."

"The MMA's leadership in launching these guidelines will help to create a global guideline for mobile advertising, enable brands to quickly deploy their initiatives and enhance the consumer experience," said Michael Bayle, GM, Global Monetisation, Connected Life, Yahoo!. "As an active contributor to their development, Yahoo! supports the guidelines and is immediately adopting them as the global standard in the 19 markets where we support mobile advertising."

"It is our overall goal to ensure that as the mobile advertising market develops worldwide, consumers not only experience a positive mobile advertising experience but are also treated equitably by all in the value chain." concludes Laura Marriott, president of the Mobile Marketing Association.

The EMEA guideline development is led by the MMA's EMEA Mobile Advertising Committee, chaired by David Barker, Enpocket and Markus Münkler, Vodafone Group Services GmbH.  The committee is comprised of mobile operators, content providers, agencies, brands and technology enablers from the following member companies:  Action Engine, AdMob Inc,.AKQA Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent, Amobee Media Systems, Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V., Buongiorno, Dynetic Mobile Solutions, Inc., Enpocket, Inc., Ericsson AB, Greystripe Incorporated, Incentivated Limited, M:Metrics, Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live), Mobile, Dreams Factory, SL, Mobile Enterprise Ltd, Mobile One2One, MOBILERA, Mobixell Networks (Europe) Ltd, MoviDream, mTLD Top Level Domain, LLC (.mobi), Net Think Iberia, Nokia Corporation, Openwave, Orange UK, Out There Media Holding GmbH, Qualcomm, Rhythm NewMedia, ScreenTonic, Sports.comm Ltd, Telenor Nordic Mobile, Tempos 21, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Channel, Interactive, T-Mobile UK, Turkcell Iletisimi Hizmetleri A.S,.Universal McCann, Vodafone Group Services Ltd., Yahoo!

The MMA EMEA Mobile Advertising Guidelines can be downloaded from http://www.mmaglobal.com/emeamobileadvertising.pdf

Blyk, the new mobile network for 16- to 24-year-olds that announced the launch of its UK service yesterday, is operating  the First Hop Wireless Broker suite.

Blyk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that links young people with brands of their choice and gives them free text messages and talk time every month. It operates the First Hop Wireless Broker suite including the Ad-Gateway that enables targeted, personalised ad insertion using messaging, multimedia push, and browsing services.

First Hop has had a significant role in building its unique service delivery platform designed to deliver a free mobile phone service for young consumers in return for their interaction with relevant brand advertising. First Hop's experience in building service delivery platforms to over 60 mobile operators worldwide enabled it to offer Blyk a robust campaign management and ad-insertion solution.

Pekka Ala-Pietilä, CEO for Blyk said: "We have spent the last year developing a unique, robust advertising content engine, and whilst the technology we are using is incredibly advanced, the main premise of Blyk is driven by three basic principles - ease of use, interaction, and relevance of communication."

Kaj Hagros, VP Marketing & Business Development at First Hop commented: "We are thrilled to see Blyk's disruptive concept reaching this stage. Everyone will eye its success very carefully and we believe Blyk will launch the industry into a whole new era of profoundly personalised and targeted services. Mobile operators have not fully exploited the true potential of their subscriber data, let alone this advertising model. We are excited to see Blyk lead the way", he added.

First Hop believes mobile devices have the potential to become the preferred digital marketing channel, with promotion and advertising being targeted at a single user level. Advertisers will fund the air time knowing they will reach their desired target segments with a precision that could never be attained in mass marketing or direct campaigns.