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Mobile Web becoming more affordable, will boost advertising

18 июня 2008

Lower costs are drawing more and more users to access the Internet with their cell phones, opening up opportunities for advertisers, industry players said Tuesday.

Flat rates for data increasingly are becoming common, and mobile devices for accessing Internet content are more widely available, Andre Levisse of management consulting firm McKinsey and Company said.

"It becomes cheaper and cheaper to just get one megabyte of data and that enables, probably, some change in the user behavior," he said during a panel discussion at the start of the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore.

The event bills itself as the region's leading information- and communications-technology conference and exhibition.

Richard Tan, business director of Telkomsel
Indonesia, agreed data plan prices have been dropping.

"I think connectivity is now more affordable," Tan said.

Personal computers are too expensive for users in many markets, said Niren Hiro, vice president of business development with Admob, a mobile-advertising marketplace.

"So I think generally there are going to be a lot of first-time users who go to their phone for content," he said.

Internet-capable handsets also have become cheaper.

"Many people can afford good handsets that can really browse the Web," said Levisse, adding that even secondhand 3G models now are available in the region.

Finnish telecom giant Nokia, on the eve of the conference, began selling two, new e-mail-capable handsets for business users and
South Korea's Samsung unveiled its latest smart phone, a touch-screen model.

Apple Inc. this past week unveiled its touch-screen-activated 3G iPhone built for high-speed wireless networks, with faster Internet access and more features for users than its previous model.

"I know that there's been disappointments in the past" over digital content, said Mauro Montanaro, chief executive of Jamba, a global provider of mobile entertainment including music, videos and games.

"The key problem today is most of the users do not know about the services on content," he added. "Our challenge is marketing."

Montanaro, whose company is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., added that mobile content from big media companies "has been lacking so far."

David Ko, vice president of Yahoo! Connected Life, Asia Pacific, said more work needs to be done to develop an "open platform" that would allow publishers to write content for different operating systems and different browsers.

Yahoo! has focused on making mobile Internet searches easier through its oneSearch service, Ko said.

The company Tuesday began offering oneSearch with voice in
Singapore and India, allowing English speakers to search by speaking into BlackBerry mobile devices.

While the industry tries to offer more entertainment options and easier access, there is great potential for mobile-advertising growth, the panelists said.

"Mobile advertising is the future," Montanaro said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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