MWC Day One: News Round-up

Theres been so much launch activity on the first day of MWC today that
it would be pretty much impossible to cover every story individually,
so here are some condensed highlights. Because of a slow data
connection here at the Fira, and our desire to see something of the
outside world this evening, there are no links to the companies
mentioned, but something called Google should enable you to track any
of them down if you like the sound of what theyre doing and want to
know more

Probably the biggest story of the day was the news that five leading
members of the  GSM Association (GSMA), namely Vodafone Group,
Telefonica O2 Europe, T-Mobile International, FT-Orange Group and 3,
have formed a working group to define common metrics and measurement
processes for mobile advertising, as part of the GSMAs Mobile
Advertising Programme. 
The working group is conducting a feasibility study, focusing initially
on the UK, working with each companys UK operating business, to
explore the aggregation of appropriate information on a consistent and
audited basis to deliver cross-operator metrics to the media and
advertising communities.
The commitment of all five UK operators to this initiative is critical
for the development and future success of mobile as an advertising
channel, says GSMA CEO, Rob Conway. The working group and the GSMA
will facilitate crucial engagement between mobile operators,
advertisers and agencies, to help ensure that mobile advertising
realises its full potential for the benefit of all players in the
ecosystem.
The GSMA says that a key priority is the definition of a range of
metrics that will describe the mobile audience and measure the
effectiveness of mobile advertising. The GSMA and its working group
will engage with a broad range of advertising industry associations and
stakeholders to secure agreement and support for metrics that will form
a common mobile media currency. Based on this currency, and subject to
the completion of the feasibility study, all five UK operators will
work with the GSMA to develop a proof of concept for a cross-operator
mobile media planning capability during 2008.
The GSMA says it will leverage learning and experience from the
feasibility study for similar initiatives in other mobile markets
across the world, and is at an advanced stage of discussions with a
number of industry stakeholders to support this effort.

Still on the mobile advertising front, Airwide Solutions took the wraps off a mobile advertising solution that it says enables mobile operators to effectively capitalize on the growing demand for mobile marketing and advertising. The solution, which has already been deployed at ad-funded network Blyk, enables operators to better promote their services and brand differentiation, as well as supporting multiple advertising models and interactive sales campaigns. To see a demonstration of the solution please visit the Airwide Stand E18 in Hall 2.
The Airwide Mobile Advertising Solution lets operators tap directly into messaging and browsing streams enabling unprecedented control for campaign execution. It also also enables proactive discovery and targeting of appropriate advertising content to recipients based on their preferences, history and profile information.

Another mobile advertising solution was unveiled by Comverse. The snappily-named Comverse Mobile Advertising solution includes a mobile ad server, campaign management, ad targeting engine, multichannel traffic interceptors and data collectors, ad injectors and comprehensive billing and reporting tools.
Comverse says the solution enables operators to provide highly relevant advertising to the largest possible number of their subscribers by using all available channels – such as Internet banners, SMS and MMS messages, visual voicemail and ringback tones. The system delivers the right advertisement to the right person at the right time via the right mobile channel, says Comverse.

ZYB used the show to launch its Social Phonebook. This enables users to see if their friends are available for a call, or when they will be; see what friends have been up to lately, and what they are doing right now; and avoid having to manually transfer each of your contacts and calendar events from your old to your new mobile when you buy a new phone.

Mobile email provider Visto revealed that T-Mobile International has selected its Visto Mobile application to power T-Mobiles Mobile E-Mail Pro push email service. According to T-Mobile, Visto was selected on the basis of its technology leadership and time-to-market advantages. Mobile E-Mail Pro from is available in Germany now, and is expected to roll out across Europe over the next 18 months. It will provide instant access to all types of Internet accounts as well as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes email accounts from a broad range of consumer and business mobile devices including Symbian Series 40/60, UIQ, Windows Mobile 5/6 and Java-enabled phones. In addition, users will be able to maintain and access an up-to-date calendar and contacts list centrally, via an online secure portal.

Starent Networks announced that it is leveraging its expertise in mobile multimedia networking to provide comprehensive Femtocell solutions for mobile network operators worldwide. A Femtocell is a small cellular base station, typically designed for use in residential or small business environments that connects to a mobile operators network through a broadband Internet connection. A Femtocell allows mobile operators to extend service coverage indoors, especially where access would otherwise be limited or unavailable.
Starent is partnering with technology companies for the customer premise equipment (CPE) of the Femtocell network. This combination of gateway and CPE products will provide mobile operators a simplified path to the deployment of a Femtocell network. Starent has already begun interoperability testing with select partners.

Vodafone is also looking at Femtocells. It revealed today that it is carrying out technical trials of 3G femtocells to assess how effectively the technology is able to deliver wireless high-speed data and voice services inside homes and business locations.
Vodafone is carrying out the trials in Spain with both Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei to explore the potential of femtocells. Based on the trials, Vodafone anticipates that femtocell technology may potentially enable it to offer its customers highly targeted propositions for the home and office, offering enhanced indoor coverage.

ChangingWorlds, which specialises in personalisation and content discovery techniques for mobile data, announced the launch of its solution for off-portal personalization, ClixSmart Discover. 
ClixSmart Discover enables mobile operators to intelligently personalise the invisible 90% of off-portal content including content catalogues, content partner sites, networked content applications and freely available mobile Internet content. ClixSmart Discover forms part of the ClixSmart Mobile Internet Platform which includes sophisticated reporting as well as the profiling and personalization of mobile Internet content.
ClixSmart Discover uses an off-portal subscriber intelligence engine which actively monitors users off-portal browsing habits in order to analyze emerging behaviour patterns. The company says that this enables mobile operators to build in-depth business intelligence on the likes and preferences of individual portal users browsing off-portal.

ACCESS Co., which supplies advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, announced initiatives to deliver Linux-based platforms for mobile devices. A year after releasing the Product Development Kit for its ACCESS Linux Platform to licensees and partners, the Company confirmed that the platform will power the first open, mobile Linux handset for Orange. The new handset, expected to be available to Orange customers in Europe later this year, will be produced by Samsung, and will give Orange customers the full benefits of the ACCESS Linux Platform, including an innovative and user-friendly interface design, access to thousands of off-the-shelf Garnet OS-based applications available immediately, and integrated communication between applications, enabling a seamless user experience for music, messaging and other advanced features.
ACCESS also announced that it has joined the LiMo Foundation as a Core member. ACCESS has been selected to spearhead the team tasked with developing the LiMo Foundations native Linux SDK suite.
Finally, ACCESS announced the availability of the ACCESS Linux Platform Development Suite (including SDK and Tools) via a newly-created developer portal designed to provide support and services for third party Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). The ACCESS Linux Platform Development Suite is immediately available free of charge to all registered members of the ACCESS Developer Network here.

On2, which specialises in video codec technologies, announced that it had used ARM NEON technology to optimize the performance of several of its popular video software codecs. By employing the SIMD media processing extensions to the ARM Cortex-A series of processors, On2 has been able to significantly reduce the clock cycles needed and increase the playback performance of the most popular video formats used in mobile devices. Compared to existing software decoders on todays leading mobile handsets, new products based on the NEON technology-optimized On2 codecs will benefit from longer battery life along with support for higher resolutions and frame rates, bringing accessibility to a broader range of high-quality video content through the web.

Broadcaster CNN International launched its new mobile Java application at the show. The service combines dynamic graphics with high end interactive and personalisation features such as multiple category browsing, hourly on-demand CNN World News Now updates and interactive news flipper, to offer mobile users an enriched, state-of-the-art experience for keeping up to date with news on the move. 

Starhome used the show to showcase its new IP-Mobile Gateway platform. The platform bridges the gap between the GSM and IP worlds and provides a seamless experience between different networks and devices. The latest applications running on the Gateway include both consumer and enterprise solutions, which have been conceived to enable mobile operators to embrace the IP world whilst maintaining customer loyalty and extending usage of mobile data.

And finally, Tanla Mobile, which specialises in wireless application development, mobile billing and messaging solutions, launched its benchmark-setting`guide to mobile marketing and advertising.
The Tanla guide aims to offer step-by-step guidance to agencies and brands about how to design, launch and manage mobile marketing campaigns. Edited by mobile marketing expert Helen Keegan and drawing on the expertise of senior figures at O2, Vodafone, Admob and Emerging Media Platforms, the Tanla Mobile Marketing and Advertising Guide identifies key areas that must be addressed for the industry to thrive. It promises to be essential reading for all marketing and mobile executives.
The Guide covers every aspect of mobiles place in the marketing mix. From campaign mechanisms to common challenges, says Tanla, and from leveraging user-generated content to exploiting mobile TV, it contains everything mobile executives need to know about this rapidly evolving market.

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