TomTom To Use Mobile Phone Location Tech With Applied Generics Takeover (news release)

Location-based mobile services, such as tracking your child at the playground, finding a friend at a sporting event or managing a fleet of delivery drivers, may be a step closer to reality with TomTom’s recent acquisition of Applied Generics. The Scottish company has developed a system deployed over mobile networks that provides real-time data on the location of mobile users. While TomTom will use the system to improve the traffic information on its personal navigation devices, sharing the data with mobile network operators and third-party service providers could also open up a promising new revenue stream for the company.

TomTom relies mainly on the location coordinates from satellite systems to pinpoint its customers. Through its acquisition of Applied Generics in January 2006, TomTom gains access to technology that uses low-level signalling data from mobile networks to determine the location of mobile devices and their users. If TomTom successfully deploys this Geographical Information System (GIS) with mobile network operators, TomTom can offer real-time information on the location coordinates of a population that reaches far beyond the size of its current customer base.

TomTom’s main motive for the acquisition was to gain access to Applied Generic’s flagship software RoDIN24. The system analyses mobile network data anonymously for high-quality and real-time traffic information. Through the acquisition, TomTom hopes to increase the quality of TomTom Plus, its road information service. The company is interested in collecting the traffic data for its own use as well as selling on the information to third parties.

In addition to traffic information, Applied Generics markets systems for tying the location of mobile phones with the mobile user identity. Demand for subscriber location data like this is expected to grow significantly over the next few years and will quickly become a key building block for offering digital connectivity services. Revenue projections by Telecompaper suggest true potential for mobile location-based services, with uptake by a small, but high-usage group of customers able to already generate significant revenues. While TomTom acquired Applied Generics primarily for the traffic information, the company offers a good starting point if TomTom decides to develop location-based mobile services and broaden its revenue sources. The company is in a good position to steal the limelight in this emerging market, helped by good momentum in its core market for navigational devices, the fruits of its successful IPO and its international market focus.

Barriers still need overcoming: this market will not be taken quickly. Mobile network operators may be hesitant to share their data on subscriber locations, while privacy issues may form a concern among end-users. The technology may address quality concerns of existing road information services, but may not be the key to offering relief from road congestion. The revenue possibilities however make it a promising bet for both TomTom and mobile network operators.


32 Billion (est.) SMS Messages For 2005 (News Release)

Continuing last month’s groundbreaking trend, a total of 87 million textmessages were sent on average per day throughout August. The handsetclearly proved to be a must have during the holiday season as figures onceagain topped 2.7 billion messages according to figures released today by theMobile Data Association (MDA). The continued increase in text messaging hasallowed the MDA to revise the annual forecast to 32 billion for 2005.

August saw two bumper days for text messaging as youngsters shared GCSE andA-level results, success and commiserations with friends and family. Atotal of 99 million text messages were sent on August 18th, the day thatGCSE results were issued. This figure is 25% higher than the 79 million textmessages recorded on the same day last year and continues the upward trendof communicating by text at this nail biting time. The figure for August25th, the day A-level results were released, was even higher with a total of99.5 million messages sent across the UK networks.

Mobile Data Association

Nokia and CHT Organize 1st Mobile Film Festival in Asia Pacific (News Release)

Nokia is working hand in hand with Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), the leading operator in Taiwan to organize the first Mobile Film Festival in Asia Pacific from September 27th to November 9th. During the festival, Taiwan’s first-ever contest for creative self-directed mobisodes will be held. Mobisodes are brief videos specifically designed to be watched on a mobile phone.

The Mobile Film Festival will feature ten newly directed films, including Confession at the Front Line by Chun-Chien Lien, BOY-9-7-6-5-2-0-GIRL by Hung-I Chen, A Traveler’s Odyssey by Po-Liang Lin, Sleepwalking by Mo!relax Team, Ji-shiang Chen, Hong-Bin Chen’s G man, and another five remarkable films by talented college students like De Flower by Chia-Jen Chen. The concept for the mobisodes is based on how a ‘phone’ is interpreted by the individual directors, inspiring new thinking and novelty. During the festival, 3G subscribers in Taiwan can view the mobisodes at a promotional rate.

Mobile communications is being transformed from voice to multimedia comprising messaging, Internet access, video and film. These changes are redefining people’s lifestyle and are opening up new frontiers also in film making.

The ten directors featured at the festival will discuss how the mobile phone, acting as the next-generation media, will impact the creative sector, general audiences, and movie industry. Directors may leverage the varying screen size and viewing direction to create mobisodes, photography, and visual arts. A new set of rules can apply to the acting, subtitles, soundtrack and dialog, expanding the creativity space. Some directors suggest short mobile films will become the trend, which will attract more creative talents to mobile cinematography.

Best of all, the public is free to choose when and where to view mobisodes. Mobisodes will revolutionize creativity and viewing habits to let mobile subscribers truly experience how “Life Goes Mobile”.

Taiwan entered the 3G multimedia era earlier this year, giving the region’s telecom industry the opportunity to offer rich and diversified services such as mobisodes. The local mobile market is eager to experience the many facets of 3G contents and applications.

“Nokia is promoting the ‘Life Goes Mobile’ concept with our state-of-the-art technology and products,” says Mike Wang, Regional General Manger, Networks, Nokia. “With the inauguration of our 3G based Mobile Services Development Center last week in Taiwan, Nokia has the platform to turn mobility life into a reality. We will team up with operators and partners to create innovative, value-added mobile content that dovetail with Taiwan’s consumers’ needs.”

‘Lost’ clips to debut over mobile on 3 – News Release

3 is to bring the smash TV hit Lost to the small screen. Following a deal between the UK’s largest video mobile network, Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) and Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG), divisions of The Walt Disney Company Ltd, a mobile audience of over 3.2 million will be able to watch show recaps and previews of the action from Channel 4’s top-rated series. This is The Walt Disney Company’s first mobile video content agreement in Europe.

Lost is a gripping series which follows the survivors of a plane crash, stranded together on a remote, hostile island. As the group of strangers work together to create order in their makeshift community, and to stay alive, there appear to be darker forces at work around them. The show makes its debut over mobile this week.

3’s service includes 2-3 minute recaps of every episode, available for the length of the series, so fans can catch up on the plot at any stage, plus behind the scenes interview and previews of the next episode. Each clip will cost 50p.

Lost is the latest prime time series to be made available on 3, following Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity and the X factor.

Already, millions of viewers hooked on Lost are debating conspiracy theories, scrutinising the characters and speculating on the plot’s twists and turns.

Graeme Oxby. 3’s Marketing Director, said: It’s compulsive, addictive television that gets people talking – it’s exactly the sort of TV our customers will watch.

“Every one of our 3.2million customers has a TV in their pocket. This new service means our customers will never be behind the plot and can keep on top of the action, wherever they are.”

Tom Toumazis, executive vice president & managing director, BVITV EMEA said: “Lost is BVITV’s fastest-ever selling, most successful TV series, having been licensed by us to 183 territories worldwide on TV – now being licensed for the first time on to mobile.

“We are sure that its ever-growing UK fanbase will ensure its success on mobile – the addictive, action-packed nature of the show lends itself particularly well to this format, as fans need to watch carefully to unravel the many mysteries within the show.”

“Mobile is rapidly emerging as a new entertainment platform and already has tremendous reach,” said Attila Gazdag, vice president and managing director of Walt Disney Internet Group, Europe. “Our strong brands have translated extremely well to this new platform and we’re pleased to be offering video, especially of such a great show, to broaden our mobile offerings.”

3 UK