MobiVentures, an international provider of mobile applications, content and services, has announced a new Video Call Push (VCP) service in partnership with Spain's Froggie S.L., which enables video content to be sent directly to a user's phone. The promotional tool allows corporate clients to send video content to 3G phones, making for a rich experience and resulting in very impressive return on investment for the client.

Nigel Nicholas, chief executive officer of MobiVentures, commented, "We are excited to partner with Froggie in delivering this breakthrough service to our clients and partners. We believe this service is the first of its kind, allowing corporate customers to send video content directly to a consumer's phone for promotional or feedback purposes. We believe there is enormous untapped potential for this type of service, which could include promotions, conducting surveys, or simply reporting on a new product."

To utilize the new service, clients simply upload the list of numbers that they want to send to, along with the promotional video itself, and press send. Once the video call is active, the user is connected to the video IVR, thereby linking the Video Call Push to a catalogue of 3G services, such as video blogs, video dating, live customer service, voting, or video messaging.

Video Call Push will be implemented shortly by a car manufacturer across their target audience and will enable them to place their promotional video directly in the hands of their potential buyers. The call-to-action is enhanced through an onscreen menu that offers a variety of service options, including: requesting a test drive (with the information entered into a database); receiving an SMS with the address of their local dealer by SMS; leaving a video of their opinion on the car (that information could then be made accessible to other users using the video call blog module) or used by the car manufacturer for other purposes. Video Call Push looks set to become a hugely successful promotional tool over the next few years as it allows the brand to communicate with the customer on such an individual basis.

Mr. Nicholas continued, "This new publicity tool comes to mobile consumers as a call that when answered, reproduces the video of an advertisement. Any information we receive in TV ads, radio and, until now, in the mobile handset via SMS, has taken new shape. This tool also adds a new level of interaction between the user and the advertiser because, through a menu of options, the consumer can get in touch with an operator to request product information or services advertised, and even make purchases, thus taking advantage of the opportunity to trigger a purchase at the time the product is in the minds of consumers."

Tom Horsey, managing director of Froggie, stated, "The possibilities for Video Call Push are endless and it offers a level of customer engagement beyond what we have seen in the market to date. We are already having terrific results with the Video Call Push application and now as part of the MobiVentures partnership we have the network to launch this innovation to a worldwide market."

Sonim Technologies has today announced a software licensing agreement with Avanquest Software, the provider of PC synchronization solutions for mobile handheld devices.
 
According to terms of the agreement, Sonim will bundle Avanquest's Mobile PhoneTools PC application with its mobile phone products, said to be created for groups that work and play hard in challenging outdoor environments, beginning with the Xtreme Performance line of rugged devices.

Mobile PhoneTools will allow cellular subscribers with Xtreme Performance handsets - available as GSM-only mobile phones or push-to-talk devices that leverage Sonim's VoIP communications suite - to synchronize contacts, calendar and other information between their handsets and personal computers in addition to personalizing their phones with multimedia content.

Mobile PhoneTools also enables users to access the Internet using the mobile phone as a modem, providing high speed wireless connection anywhere, anytime.  Access to email and Web-based office or personal applications is easy without a PC data card or searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot.  Additionally, users are able to send and receive SMS communications from their PC using the Avanquest application.

"Adding Avanquest's Mobile PhoneTools product to our portfolio gives our business users best in class PC synchronization capabilities for uploading mission-critical data to their mobile phones to take with them offline, and on-the-go," explains Javor Kolev, Vice President of Mobile Products at Sonim. "Our professional users in armed security, transportation and logistics, construction, and field services will soon easily be able to access and synchronize partner and supplier corporate contacts along with other field services logistics data needed to complete jobs and missions quickly."

"We are extremely happy that the leader in both ruggedized handsets and "outdoor" push-to-talk VoIP communications   has selected Mobile PhoneTools," said Julie Shevlin, Vice President, Avanquest Software's Denver-based OEM Division. "This agreement will provide a competitive advantage to Sonim by extending the performance of their state-of-the-art devices with a comprehensive, powerful and easy to use mobility solution for their customers."

KPN, the Netherlands specialist in Telephonic Directory Assistance, and NOVASYS, the Swiss based provider of Geocentric Information Services for Internet and Mobile devices, have announced the launch of a new service of confirmation in the Netherlands, including a geographic map via SMS WapPush, named ‘SMS MapConfirmation'.
 
All mobile users in the Netherlands having a Wap configured mobile handset, can receive on their mobile phone a confirmation with a dynamic map of any queried business address.

The new service, SMS MapConfirmation, is said to be the first SMS application using WAP Push in relation with Mapping. When the mobile users ask for a business address or phone number to the 1888 agent, MapConfirmation sends a map to their mobile handset. Maps are not only accurate; they are also dynamic and well readable at different zoom levels. This service is one of the very first mapping applications offered to the mobile users, available over this new channel.

NOVASYS has developed the MapConfirmation service on the basis of its geocentric platform Maponair. The service supports almost any mobile handset available on the market. It allows delivering maps on the fly for each directory query, in just a few seconds. With the introduction of the confirmation service including the map, the call centre operators will not only supply the requested phone number and address, but also a map corresponding to the end-user's query. This will make the user's experience easier, allowing him to receive the exact location of his query, anytime, anywhere by a simple call to 1888. He doesn't need anymore to print a map in advance at home or in the office.
 
Hans Wester, KPN product manager for the 1888 service: "With the new map service we intent to increase the added value of our 1888 service, leading to higher customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The service is available for all our mobile users at no additional charge."
 
Ali Hussein, VP Sales & Marketing for NOVASYS comments: "We are very pleased to introduce this new service on the Dutch Directory Assistance market with KPN. It enhances their offering aimed at clients in mobility logic and with increased expectations. This innovation in the area of mobile services is a good example of new and easy to use services for the mobile community."

A new report from Juniper Research claims to have found that the combination of greater 3G adoption and a marked increase in rich media, made-for-mobile content will drive mobile entertainment revenues to $47.5 billion by 2010.

However, the Juniper report cautions that entertainment service adoption will be retarded unless improvements are made in areas such as the user interface, network coverage and the excessive cost of data services.  It also notes that in some mobile areas - such as gambling, adult content and some social networking services - national and international legislation could either adversely impact on growth, or in some cases prevent any service deployment.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "Traditionally, services such as ringtones and wallpapers accounted for the bulk of mobile entertainment services.  However, usage patterns are changing rapidly with the increasing availability of more sophisticated and attractive content such as streamed and broadcast video, social networking services and multiplayer games, which have been designed specifically for the mobile environment."

Additionally the Juniper report finds that the China and Far East region currently provides the largest market for Mobile Entertainment services and contributes around 41% of global revenues. Despite rapid growth in developing markets, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to retain its leadership through to 2012, when it will still contribute 33% of global revenues.

Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of mobile entertainment market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile entertainment industry.

mobilePeople has announced that its liquid mobile search platform now supports the iPhone, which is said to extend new monetisation opportunities for directory publishers and directory assistance companies. The news follows Apple's announcement that the majority of mobile internet usage in the US is conducted on the iPhone and Google's announcement that it monitors multiple searches from the iPhone compared to other mobile handsets.
 
mobilePeople provides a user interface optimised for the iPhone's Safari browser to search Yellow Pages, White Pages and other content published using the liquid platform. Functionality includes a click to call option, the facility to get directions to a desired address, save any business search to contacts, the facility to send results to a friend and the function to see results on a map. The mapping experience on the iPhone Safari browser is superior to other browser based map solutions because mobilePeople's solution allows the user to interact with the map. Raster maps in combination with layering technology allow for user touch interaction.

The local search experience on the iPhone is now said to be fast and cheap. The search itself requires less data traffic, which means lower costs for the user. AJAX technology, which exchanges small packets of data with the server, means it is no longer necessary to reload the entire mobile pages at all times, says mobilePeople. 
 
Jens Andersen, CEO and co-founder of mobilePeople commented: "The fact that so many US mobile users are using their iPhones to surf the web is a wake-up call to directory publishers who haven't yet got to grips with the handset's monetisation opportunities. With liquid now available on the iPhone, this is too good an opportunity to miss. The web is an integral part of the iPhone experience; mobilePeople is commited to ensuring that great local search functionality is a part of that iPhone experience."

mobilePeople is also set to introduce a client based mobile local search for the iPhone based on Apple's recently announced iPhone software development kit (SDK.)

liquid is platform agnostic and supported on: Java, Symbian, Windows mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, imode, mobile carrier specific markup languages and Brew.

Seven in every eight commercial 3G/WCDMA operators have launched HSPA, according to the 3G/WCDMA-HSDPA Fact Sheet published today by GSA - the Global mobile Suppliers Association. 211 WCDMA operators have launched commercial services in 91 countries, of which 185 operators (87.6%) have also launched HSDPA - High Speed Downlink Packet Access.

HSDPA mobile broadband services are now commercially available in 80 countries. There are 103 commercial HSDPA operators in Europe, 36 in APAC, 24 in the Middle East and Africa region, and 22 in the Americas.

80 HSDPA operators commercially launched services during 2007, representing growth of 80%.

WCDMA is in use by over 72% of commercial 3G operators worldwide and is the technology of choice for delivery of mobile broadband services. HSDPA is the first evolution of WCDMA.

Evolution of network data speeds enabled by HSDPA is another key trend reported in the Fact Sheet. 116 commercial HSDPA operators, i.e. 62%, support downlink data speeds of 3.6 Mbps peak or higher, including 38 operators (over 20%) who have launched 7.2 Mbps peak or higher.

An evolution is also taking place in uplink data speeds. High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) services have been launched by 34 operators in 26 countries, with 24 additional deployments on-going.

HSPA (the term which embraces HSDPA and HSUPA) is driving mobile broadband services globally and is supported by the largest and most developed mobile broadband eco-system, which includes the greatest number of user devices supporting all market segments and frequency combinations. HSPA operators throughout the world are reporting strong subscription growth and increased profitably with HSPA.

GSA's research also notes that the majority of HSPA operators combine with GSM/EDGE for service continuity and the best user experience. 107 of 185 commercially launched HSDPA operators have also commercially launched EDGE.

WCDMA and HSPA are part of the evolutionary roadmap for GSM and the natural evolution path followed by GSM network operators worldwide. GSA calculates there are over 1.1 billion GSM, EDGE and WCDMA-HSPA subscribers in commercial HSPA-enabled networks worldwide.

WCDMA-HSPA key facts according to GSA:

- 211 commercial WCDMA operators in 91 countries
- WCDMA technology in use by over 72% of 293 commercial 3G operators
- Over 179 million WCDMA subscribers (Q4 07); 6.9 million monthly growth in 2H 07
- 80 million WCDMA subscriptions added in 2007 i.e. over 81% growth
- 220 HSDPA operator commitments in 92 countries; 185 operators launched
- 185 of 211 commercial WCDMA operators launched HSDPA (87.6% = 7 out of 8)
- 80 HSDPA operators commercially launched during 2007; annual growth of 80%
- Over 62% of commercial HSDPA operators support 3.6 Mbps peak or higher
- Over 20% of commercial HSDPA operators support 7.2 Mbps peak or higher
- 34 HSUPA operators commercially launched in 26 countries
- Over 1.1 billion GSM & WCDMA-HSDPA subscribers in HSDPA-enabled networks
- Over 800 WCDMA terminal devices launched in the market (October 2007)
- 403 HSDPA devices launched in the market by 80 suppliers (October 2007)

3BILL, the mobile division of Symbios Group, has confirmed today that it has acquired leading social network platform, www.faces.com

The acquisition includes all of the assets owned by the company, transfer of the lucrative domain http://www.faces.com, user base and the intellectual property operating the platform. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Originally launched in 2004, http://www.faces.com had raised millions of dollars in funding to develop the its platform, which comes packed with utilisable widgets such as TuneFeed, a Flash-based player which can be used on external sites such as MySpace.

Faces.com offers social networking with a focus on music, blogging and photos. The site is designed to allow members to view each others profiles, communicate with old friends and meet new acquaintances. Users can share photos, blog, display classified advertisements and express their interests via their own bespoke faces.com page.

Customisable themes and profile pages are also available on the site, via open features, allowing users to explore each others media, based on tags, ratings and searchable content.

The acquisition is the second significant purchase for 3BILL in as many weeks as it looks to strengthen its portfolio in the social networking space, recently purchasing http://www.profileheaven.co.uk - winner of 2006 UK website of the Year - Best community site.

Martin Montague, CEO of 3BILL, commented "We have been developing web and networking products for many years. We now have a proven competency both technically and commercially in the market and have successfully delivered mobile campaigns for several leading entertainment brands. This was recognised in our recent nomination as best UK billing provider"

"Social networking has really taken off globally; literally hundreds of millions of people around the world are visiting social network sites each month, many on a daily basis. With such a great brand and domain name such as http://www.faces.com this targeted acquisition will help us
reach critical mass quickly, and give us a great rolling start to centralise our assets into one new dynamic social network platform rich in web, mobile and music content - all to the delight of our users."

Plans for the site will include the amalgamation of the recent acquisitions into a 'super community' with a wide range of previously unseen features that will co-incide with a re-launch mid 2008. The company will not include TuneFeed into the platform initially due to license constraints, but will make use of its proprietary mobile software and expertise on-line.

NextWave Wireless, a provider of mobile multimedia products and technologies, today announced the launch of MXtv, claimed to be a breakthrough mobile multicast and broadcast technology that enables WiMAX operators to deliver a broad range of rich and personalized multimedia services including mobile TV, interactive media services, and digital audio without having to invest in new spectrum or additional radio access network equipment. Utilizing  macro-diversity technology that 'significantly improves' broadcast performance over WiMAX channel, MXtv technology, which is completely compatible with the current 802.16e standard, is designed to reduce the cost of offering high-quality, mobile broadcast services to subscribers.

In a separate announcement today, NextWave and Huawei Technologies announced a joint development agreement under which Huawei will deliver the integrated MXtv technology in its end-to-end WiMAX network solution including Huawei's fourth-generation base station platform and ASN-GW wireless broadband gateway platforms. MXtv technology is also a standard feature of NextWave's recently announced own line of WiMAX infrastructure products.

"With more high-quality broadcast channels on a per-MHz-basis along with the shared use of standard network equipment and already dedicated spectrum, MXtv's wide range of applications completely transforms the economics of WiMAX for operators worldwide," said Allen Salmasi, Chief Executive Officer of NextWave Wireless. "MXtv enables WiMAX operators to profitably deliver exciting mobile multimedia services such as mobile TV, digital radio, and other types of cutting-edge multicast services including user-generated, shared video content. In addition, MXtv will provide WiMAX operators a unique opportunity to generate significant incremental revenue by delivering relevant and highly-targeted interactive advertising to customers while maintaining control over the nature and extent of content delivered over their network. It's a major win for WiMAX operators and a win for customers who will be able to enjoy the ultimate personalized mobile multimedia experience."

Supporting 30 fps QVGA and WQVGA content, MXtv technology provides up to 45 high-quality mobile TV channels in 10 MHz with rapid channel switching times of under two seconds, and offers network operators the unique ability to dynamically allocate spectrum based on content availability, time-of-day requirements, user demand, and the availability of ‘must see' live events such as sports, concerts, interactive reality shows or emergency broadcasts. With the unique ability to interleave broadcast content with voice and data content in each user transmission, MXtv enables WiMAX network operators to maximize service revenues by allowing them to dynamically optimize the mix of voice, data, and broadcast services on each RF carrier based on user demand, service pricing and advertising revenue. Furthermore, over 300 high fidelity radio broadcast channels or any combination of mobile TV, personalized radio, voice and data services can be offered in the same 10 MHz of spectrum. Similar to the company's end-to-end TDtvTM solution for UMTS operators, MXtv utilizes advanced macro-diversity technology to deliver optimal performance and does not require operators to acquire additional expensive spectrum to enter the mobile TV market.

For non-cellular consumer devices like personal media players, handheld gaming or navigational devices and DVD players, MXtv offers an easy and cost-effective way to integrate interactive mobile TV services with a built-in return channel. Coupled with the ability to offer unicast on-demand services on the same spectrum, network operators can additionally offer a compelling program guide with the combination of the live broadcast content, on-device stored content of earlier broadcasts for more efficient distribution, personal content as well as a wide range of user-specific content including specialized or educational content, informational content, user-community content, regional and local content using either subscription or advertising supported business models. The operator also has the ability to broadcast specific content on a defined geographical basis to tailor the available content for each individual user.

"NextWave's MXtv service offers an attractive value proposition for service providers interested in deploying WiMAX," said Godfrey Chua, research manager, Wireless and Mobile Infrastructure, IDC. "This is because MXtv enables effective video delivery over the technology, thus creating the potential to turn WiMAX into a multi-media and advertising platform that could significantly improve the WiMAX business case for operators."

Sicap and T-Mobile Croatia have today announced a deal which will extend Sicap Device Management Center to serve T-Mobile Macedonia customers from the Croatian platform. World leader in Device Management, Sicap has the technological ability to allow global operators like T-Mobile to multiply usage of the platform by subsidiaries.

The announcement highlights the flexibility of the Sicap DMC and the satisfaction of T-Mobile with the performance of the software, implemented early 2006 by T-Mobile Croatia to deliver device settings to customers.

Sharing the benefits of DMC with sister company T-Mobile Macedonia adds a new cost-effective dimension to Sicap software as an enabler for cross-network systems within operator groups.

In the near future, T-Mobile Croatia will upgrade to Sicap DMC version 3, containing the "Device Knowledge Center" database developed and maintained by Sicap. For the operator, the advantages are clear. No other software on the market has such comprehensive data on virtually every mobile device on the market. Around 250 features are available for each of the 800 plus devices in the base, making it a great multimedia marketing tool.

Sicap Sales Manager Maxence Drevon-Balas who orchestrated the initiatives said "The beauty of Device Management Center is that it is built on a robust and modular in-house platform. This means that operators like T-Mobile can be sure that their investment will evolve with network technologies and marketing opportunities. We are delighted that T-Mobile has recognized the opportunities".

According to Nikola Margetic, work unit Head of Development and Service Management department in T-Mobile Croatia, "Today, the seamless service activation provided by T-Mobile Croatia boosts the credibility of the country's leading operator and contributes to its success in gaining and retaining customers. We trust Sicap Device Management Center to offer the same services to our sister company in Macedonia and enable us to capitalize on resources within the group."

QuickLogic has today announced the Visual Enhancement Engine (VEE), claimed to enable next generation multimedia products.  The proprietary VEE technology is said to provide high quality contrast optimisation for a wide range of mobile consumer and prosumer devices.  It is also said to specifically address the mobile industry's need to provide consumers with a TV-quality viewing experience while extending battery life at the same time.

In order to deliver a power-efficient, yet flexible solution for the multitude of use cases, application and baseband processors and LCD displays, QuickLogic and Apical Limited partnered to architect and develop the optimal blend of Apical algorithms with QuickLogic's video enhancement algorithms and patented ViaLink programmable fabric for mobile and portable multimedia products.  The core of the VEE technology is based on the proven iridix algorithm licensed from Apical Limited, developed by scientists from the ground up to model the methods that the human eye uses to adapt viewed scenes and images to changing ambient light conditions.

"Multimedia capabilities have become the key selection criteria for mobile devices because they are core to the user experience," says QuickLogic's Vice President of Solutions Marketing Brian Faith.  "Apple's success with the iPhone has prompted the entire mobile device value chain into finding novel ways of enhancing the visual experience of the consumer.  Mobile liquid crystal displays provide only limited contrast, easily washing out images in bright ambient light or with sunlight reflections.  The traditional response to resolve this problem has been to increase the backlight, but that has a negative effect on battery life. VEE technology provides a best-in-class alternative to this approach, providing both visual enhancement and improved battery life at the same time for the use cases most critical to mobile products being launched now and in the coming years."

By intelligently re-mapping display data to enhance sub-regional variations, VEE improves the viewability of images and video without affecting on-screen graphics, an important use case when consumers have a split-screen between web browsing and Mobile TV or YouTube functionality.  VEE also allows a mobile device to provide a superior user experience in outdoor and bright ambient light environments without increasing the LCD backlight, thus preserving precious battery life.  In indoor or low ambient light conditions, VEE allows the mobile device to operate with a lower LCD backlight while maintaining the visual experience, a common use case when watching movies on a mobile device during an airplane flight.  One of the true benefits of the VEE architecture is that its settings can be updated in real-time, adapting the algorithm as the ambient lighting conditions change.

The VEE technology will be included in QuickLogic's library of Proven System Blocks (PSBs) and can be implemented in multiple silicon platforms, ultimately being delivered to OEMs and ODMs as a Customer Specific Standard Product (CSSP).  Its introduction underscores the company's strategy to create next generation solutions that address key design concerns in the mobile industry.  "QuickLogic's CSSPs have been providing intelligent connectivity for mobile devices for over a year now," says Faith.  "With VEE, we are expanding our portfolio to bring innovative solutions to market that solve relevant and time-critical user experience challenges that OEMs and ODMs are faced with today."

In line with the requirements of the mobile market, QuickLogic has developed a packaging strategy to support both small form factor ball grid array (BGA) as well as wafer level chip scale packaging (WL-CSP).

The Visual Enhancement Engine is available now as a PSB for QuickLogic's PolarPro family of programmable solution platforms.  It is also being integrated as a hard logic implementation in the next generation of the company's ArcticLink solution platform line, with sampling expected in Q3 2008.

The BBC has today launched a new version of bbc.co.uk for mobile devices.

Building on the success of its existing market leading mobile browser proposition, the new version emulates the new appearance of the online version of bbc.co.uk.

The new design offers a consistent and intuitive user experience with easier navigation. New content on the site includes a new section for BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat with all the latest entertainment headlines and pictures.

Matthew Postgate, BBC Controller of Mobile said: "The refresh of our mobile browser service comes at a critical moment in the development of mobile in the UK.  It is the first step to transforming bbc.co.uk on mobile into a much richer and more engaging experience. In the coming months, our mobile proposition will develop significantly, and include coverage of the summer's biggest sport events including Euro 2008, the Beijing Olympics and Wimbledon."

The launch of the refreshed mobile service will be supported by a four-week marketing campaign which will target football fans across the country with a number of tv, outdoor and ambient initiatives. In-ground media and Ad-vans at a number of matches will urge fans to text FOOTBALL to 81010 for a link to the BBC football site. At selected football grounds, Bluetooth technology is being used to send fans a link to the site. The television trail will run on BBC channels from March 17.

The BBC's mobile browser service is said to attract 2.7million unique users per month, making it the number 1 mobile site in the UK, according to Nielsen Mobile, an increase of one million year-on-year (59%).

OpenCloud, the supplier of in-network application servers for next-generation telecommunications services, has announced the launch of its developer portal, said to be aimed to make it easy for developers to use OpenCloud's Rhino to build in-network services for the telecommunications industry.
 
Launched to support the growing community of Rhino application developers, OpenCloud's portal includes the Knowledge Base, a searchable database of frequently asked questions and answers spanning a wide range of platform and telecoms application topic areas. This knowledge has been compiled from OpenCloud's own experience developing the Rhino platform and supporting telecoms application developers over the last 24 months, and will now be expanded through the addition of shared information from the community.  Other tools within the portal include a completely virtual GSM network simulator (INCC), enabling telecoms application developers to test services without needing access to a GSM network, as well as Rhino SDKs, APIs and discussion forums.
 
David Ferry, CTO at OpenCloud commented: "The portal enables us to share the knowledge we have acquired through years of developing and environment for new applications, while providing a meeting place for developers to support and debate with one another, facilitating innovation. We have spent a lot of time ensuring that the portal is as valuable as possible and will continue to populate it with useful tools and knowledge.  With the added contribution of the rest of the community through the forums and discussion boards we hope to see the site become the hotbed for application innovation in the months to come."

Mobile Interactive Group (MIG), the UK multimedia mobile interactive services provider servicing the mobile and digital interactive markets, has been appointed by Flirtomatic for the provision of payforIT services, for mobile payments within the Flirtomatic mobile internet portal - said to be one of the largest mobile portals in the UK.

Flirtomatic signed up for MIG's payforIT solution, MIGPay, in August 2007 and the consultative approach that MIG have taken with Payforit has enabled Flirtomatic to deliver a seam-less billing solution for the their users.

Rob Weisz, Director of Wholesale Services, MIG said:  "We are truly delighted to be working with Flirtomatic. At MIG pride ourselves on our knowledge and understanding of the mobile market and have worked closely with operators, and our clients, to offer the industry the flexibility it requires to ensure MIGPay offers key features in-line with consumer needs.

"With market statistics confirming that more and more consumers are purchasing content via their mobile phone, M-commerce will remain high on the agenda throughout 2008, underpinning the need for a mobile payment solution consumers can trust."

Mark Curtis, CEO, Flirtomatic said, "Flirtomatic is one of the largest off-deck WAP portals in the UK, therefore it's essential to integrate with the new payforIT payment scheme to increase consumer confidence when purchasing products and services via mobile.  MIG and Flirtomatic have worked closely over the past three months to refine the service and to ensure Flirtomatic customers are happy with a unified cross network purchasing experience."

M: Metrics has unveiled M:Ad, its competitive tracking service for mobile advertising, in the United Kingdom, claiming to reveal the first definitive metrics for measuring mobile advertising inventory. The measurement firm reports that online retail companies such as Electronic Arts, Glu and Ebay are placing the bulk of mobile ads, with the category comprising of 39 percent of all mobile ads tracked by M:Metrics.

"Early findings are encouraging, as they indicate that mobile is increasingly being incorporated into mainstream media buys," said Paul Goode, senior analyst, M:Metrics.  "In January, M:Ad has tracked major brands across a range of industries, including Avis, BMW, Cadbury's, Citroen, EMAP and IBM, using mobile advertising."
 
The expansion to the M: Metrics product portfolio is said to come after the success of M:Ad in the United States, launched in November 2007.  In January, M:Ad tracked 403 unique creative advertisements in the United Kingdom, in 91 campaigns representing 48 different companies.  The ads were from a variety of different industries such as; advertising, automobile manufacturers, broadcasting and cable TV, Internet retail, movies and entertainment, casinos and gaming, food retail, home furnishings and computer hardware.

"Advertisers, media agency and media owners in the UK are calling out for greater clarity on who is advertising what, where and when. Today, M:Metrics can deliver this critical data to the market," said Goode.  "In the United States, M:Ad has been warmly welcomed, and we are excited to bring our tracking expertise into the UK market to help grow mobile advertising expenditure."
 
With 16 percent of U.K. mobile subscribers accessing news and information via the mobile browser in December, advertisers' attention is turning towards banner advertising. M:Ad classifies mobile ads by company, division and product/service as well as by industry/sector. It also reveals when ads are being served to help identify seasonality and campaign rotation.  There is no other method of monitoring the breadth of current inventory of mobile ads to inform advertising campaign strategies.
 
Using M:Metrics' proprietary data collection technologies and measurement science expertise, M:Ad  provides a much-anticipated glimpse into the mobile advertising landscape. M:Ad continuously monitors clickable display advertising from a broad representative set of mobile Web destinations and classifies the data by industry, company and by product/service to reveal leading advertisers in and across market segments.

M:Ad is available today in the United Kingdom and will be rolled out to the major European markets throughout the year.