[London, ENGLAND] Mobile solutions provider AvantGo, Inc.
launched Monday the first three of its country-specific
European portals in the U.K., Sweden and Norway.
The new portals, which provide access to a whole range
of AvantGo channels, will be followed early next year
by additional services in Germany and France.
There are now more than 650 Web sites throughout the
world optimized for mobile device users through AvantGo,
of which over 100 are in the U.K.
AvantGo users can access Internet information from
such devices as Palm, Pocket PC and WAP-enabled phones,
checking news, sport, entertainment, business, and travel
details at sites like Sports.com, ft.com, The Times and
David Rice, managing director, AvantGo Mobile Internet
Europe, said the free service opens up a new world for
mobile device users in Europe, enabling their devices to
be much more than a calendar or address book.
“There are already over 1.2 million users of the AvantGo
Mobile Internet product through our U.S.-based service.
We’ve now made the service easier and more relevant for
Europeans by providing mobile access to Europe’s premier
Web sites,” said Rice.
One useful feature of the AvantGo service is its offline
capability. Users can synchronize a mobile device with
their desktop PC and then read the information offline.
Graphic designer Paul Burcher said AvantGo has already
become an integral part of his day.
“I synchronize my mobile device before I leave home in
the morning, and read the newspapers on my device on the
tube on the way to work,” said Burcher (the “tube” being
London’s subway system).
With little sign that U.K. users are yet using mobile
Internet information in great numbers, Burcher’s comments
will be encouraging to vendors. He went on to say that he
uses AvantGo for its restaurant reviews, City pub guide,
TV and cinema listings — and even for checking the weather
and searching for holidays on lastminute.com.
Frequent tube travelers in London can now keep a sharp
eye open for other early adopters of this technology.
Unfortunately, there are still more people eating
hamburgers on the tube than surfing the Internet —
a proportion that will change if AvantGo catches on
(or if London Transport stops people eating food