Interesting Mobile Launches – OnMobile’s ARBT and July Systems’ Mi SMS (Internet sachet for Mobile)

OnMobile has recently launched ARBT, i.e. audio ring back tones that enables playing ads, based on caller profile (location, age). Essentially, if you call me, you will get to hear an ad jingle based on your location/preference.

Why this sudden innovation? Largely because of the impending threat from Virgin which pays you to receive calls  (ad-based service). Since Virgin has tied up with Tata Tele, there needs to have a platform that enables other operators to launch a similar service.

The subscriber on whose phone the AdRBT is playing will have to give permission by subscribing to the service. In return, the subscriber will receive some incentive from the operator. OnMobile estimates that a subscriber receives 10 calls daily on an average. AdRBT will also allow callers to respond to the ad by requesting for more information by pressing a specific key while the ad is playing. For example, by pressing the # key, the caller can receive an SMS from the advertiser at the end of the call.

The model is very ineresting and though it will be kicked off on CPM basies, I guess it’s just a matter of time when CPA ads might get started.[source]

Reliance too tried the same concept, i.e. played Reliance ads if you call a rel number and it didn’t gel well with customers (they played the corporate jingle which had no appeal); and now, Vodafone is doing the same (they are playing ‘you and I‘ jingle).
What’s good about OnMobile’s approach is the opt-in part – subscriber can opt-in if given the right incentive (which Indian operators are quite good at).

What do you think about OnMobile’s approach?

Mi SMS – Internet Sachet for Mobile world.

July Systems has partnered with NDTV Convergence to launch Mi SMS, which is a mobile Internet information service that delivers NDTV content to users thru SMS. The Mi SMS service will deliver Mobile 2.0 — live, personalised, interactive, and multi-media experiences on the phone.

Consumers can access the Mi SMS service by sending ‘MiNEWS’, ‘MiCRI’, or ‘MiSTO’ to the NDTV short code 56388. They will receive a link that connects to the mobile Internet for multimedia content. News with images and video, cricket scores with auto refreshing ball-by-ball commentary, stock quotes with symbols, graphs and company news can be browsed.[source]

Reminds of a service that existed in the very early web world  (~98-99) that enabled one to send a website url thru’ email (in the subject section) and in return, you get the entire page (html).

The problem then was quite similar to what exists with the current mobile world – lack of Internet connectivity and poor awareness about www usage. Though Mi service needs GPRS connectivity, it has an important usage in the short term – Indians are used to sms service, but have tons of questions related to data usage/charges (i.e. poor awareness) and just aren’t comfortable using GPRS.

A service like this is borne out of market insights and it would be interesting to see how operators react to this (aren’t they losing on data usage, and will actually witness increased sms usage which is less profitable than data?)

What’s your opinion?

As far as market usage is concerned, Mobile Internet has ~14 times more usage than Broadband

tags: onmobile,

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