Posts tagged ‘UK’
British ad-funded mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Blyk has refuted claims that it is planning to discontinue its commercial retail services, Mobile Marketing Magazine reports. Blyk was responding to reports by another UK-based media outlet that said the operator was preparing the closure of its direct-to-consumer business in order to focus on operator partnerships. It is understood, however, that rather than exiting the consumer space, the MVNO plans to add a partnership model. A Blyk spokesperson, Ann Sarimo, was quoted as saying: ‘We are not closing shop. We are actively expanding, and we are in negotiations with partners right now. Our members are our core asset. Our total proposition is partly based on the advertising side of things, but it’s also about the whole user experience and audience management. We are not just a technology solution, we are a total mobile marketing solution, based in part on the advertising and messaging component, but it’s very much about a total experience and an audience of happy, engaged users.’
While Blyk originally offered 16-24 year olds 217 free texts and 43 minutes of free talk time each month in return for accepting targeted advertising on their phone each day, the company did change its model in January 2009. It now offers its customers GBP15 (USD22.8) free credit per month which can be used for either text messaging or voice calls.
Expenditure on mobile advertising in the UK exceeded market expectation in 2008 and grew 99.2 percent year-on-year to reach a total of GBP 28.6 million, according to a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Investment in mobile advertising grew at a faster rate than predicted as more UK brands invested in the medium due to its exceptional targeting, immediacy and return on investment. Mobile display advertising, which includes banners, text links, tenancies pre/post roll and in-game, accounted for GBP 14.2 million in 2008, 49.8 percent of all mobile advertising spend. Paid-for search advertising on mobile internet was estimated to account for GBP 14.4 million, 50.2 percent of all mobile advertising spend. In 2008, online advertising rose to GBP 3.35 billion, accounting for 19.2 percent of all advertising spend. A bigger audience is a key driver for the growth, where mobile internet usage increased in 2008 from 8.6 million in December 2007 to over 11 million in December 2008, and people on unlimited data plans has grown by a massive 109 percent in 2008. Other key drivers include advertising on mobile phones, social networking driving growth of mobile internet usage, better and smarter handsets, growth in mobile departments and mobile advertising knowledge in the market. This survey represents solely mobile media spend, and therefore do not include mobile marketing expenditure such as SMS or MMS production and delivery costs.
Vodafone is developing a distribution strategy that will see Yes Telecom at its core, according to head of Vodafone UK distribution and new Yes Telecom chief, Tanny Price. Price informed distributors in a letter that the company had been working on an ‘exciting strategy’ for 2009/10 to ‘generate additional opportunities for our indirect channels in the converging areas of the market’.Price said: ‘Building on the expertise and skills in Manchester, we are looking to invigorate the channel and invest in value by working more closely together with our partners, maximizing the opportunities that lie ahead.
This drive to raise the bar is testament to Vodafone’s commitment to the indirect channel. It is a fundamental part of the Enterprise business and we have strong plans for its growth through selecting the best channels, of which Yes Telecom is key. The Vodafone business will transform in this rapidly evolving market, moving from pure voice and data to a unified communications environment.
The UK-based Virgin Mobile group has denied reports that it is looking to team up with New Zealand wireless licensee NZ Communications to help launch that country’s third cellular network. Virgin Mobile marketing manager Nikki Lambert told New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post; ‘I can confirm that Virgin does not have any current plans regarding New Zealand and is not in any discussions with any operators out there.’ As a reseller Virgin Mobile has launched pre-paid mobile services in markets such as the UK, the US, India, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Vodafone is continuing to work towards the introduction of HSPA+ in its key European territories. It has previously carried out advanced trials in the UK and Italy, and this week has launched a test network in Lisbon using HSPA+ 64QAM technology. The technology has a theoretical maximum download speed of 21.6Mbps, although Vodafone and partner Ericsson achieved peaks of 16Mbps. Vodafone Portugal expects to launch commercial HSPA+ services in 2009, as soon as compatible data devices become readily available.
The T-Mobile G1 is now in Germany. It is the first mobile phone in the world with the Android operating system. Top features include the intuitive user interface and direct access to services such as Google search, Google Maps, Google Mail and numerous applications from independent providers via Android Market.
Other features include HSDPA for mobile bandwidths of up to 7.2 Mbit/s, WLAN, a built-in compass, a five-row QWERTY keyboard, the trackball, the built-in GPS receiver and the large, slide-out touch screen display with three user-friendly starting views. T-Mobile is now offering the device to consumers as part of a 24-month contract with the new Combi Flat XS, S, M and L rates. T-Mobile G1 costs just EUR 1 in conjunction with the Combi Flat S, M and L voice and data flat rates.
The T-Mobile G1 is already enjoying tremendous success in the US and the UK, and it impresses the experts: The jury of the renowned Global Mobile Awards nominated T-Mobile G1 as a finalist in the “Best Mobile Handset or Device” category. The unique Android open source software and the extremely user-friendly design were key factors in the decision. The international association of network operators (GSMA) will award the prize at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest event of its kind in the worldwide mobile industry, on February 17, 2009.
The T-Mobile G1 represents an exceptional mobile Internet experience: Users can access the functions or surf the Internet with a simple finger tap on the display. Google services, familiar to millions of people from their desktop PC, can now be used efficiently and conveniently on the move with the T-Mobile G1. One example is the Google search engine, where the suggest feature’s automatic term recognition allows users to find the information or entertainment content they are looking for by entering a minimum of information.
The T-Mobile G1’s browser loads Internet pages very quickly as it is constantly connected to the Internet. The navigation service on Google Maps makes it no problem for customers to find their current location and, if they wish, call up detailed directions. Google Maps also makes it possible to find individual addresses, such as restaurants or cinemas.
The T-Mobile G1 is the first cell phone in the world to enable access to Android Market with more than 700 applications from international developers already available. As a result, users can personalize their phone with just a few clicks. New services and applications constantly expand the range of programs available. The smart shopping assistant, ShopSavvy, and the Wikitude application, conveniently displaying information on numerous attractions, are two examples of the exciting and successful Android Market programs. A software update will soon allow users to access chargeable programs as well.
Italian service provider Tiscali aims to finalise the sale of its British operations by the end of March 2009, Reuters reports citing comments by the company’s chief executive Marco Rosso. In November 2008 it was revealed that Tiscali was in talks with BSkyB regarding the UK-based subsidiary, but disagreements over the value of the assets saw the discussions stall. Tiscali had said it expected to raise GBP600 million (USD856 million) from the sale but BSkyB valued the unit at GBP450 million. Mr Rosso also said that Tiscali is planning for the eventuality that it may not divest interest in the UK arm; ‘We have a plan approved internally for one option or the other, nothing is excluded. The major effort is concentrated on reaching agreement on a sale.’