Wireless Watch for January 8, 2004

m-Qube, NCR Deal to Support Mobile Couponing

In a deal that will advance mobile couponing and promotions in the U.S. and Canada, NCR Corporation tapped m-Qube to augment its network of cash registers with functions that will let consumers redeem mobile offers at the point of sale. Using the system, retailers and food service operators in NCR’s register network will be able to conduct mobile campaigns intended to bring people directly into the store.

The m-Qube solution lets retailers create customized mobile couponing programs that address the unique preferences of individual consumers. These offers can be delivered to user handhelds and later redeemed and measured at the point of sale.

“NCR understands the value of integrating mobile technology into the point of sale, and we look forward to demonstrating how our solution can provide a greater return on investment for their retail clients,” said Mark Grindeland, m-Qube’s EVP of marketing and brand services.

Macromedia Hires Help from Microsoft

In an effort to improve the integration of its popular Flash software for personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones, Macromedia Tuesday said that it has lured some seasoned help from Microsoft to shepherd its mobile and devices business unit.

Juha Christensen joined Macromedia as president of its mobile and devices business unit, where he will be expected to drive innovation for the company’s Flash software.

The veteran comes from a legacy of mobile device and software development and most recently served as corporate vice president of the mobile devices division at Microsoft, where he brought the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone to market.

Christensen announced he was leaving Microsoft in November to spearhead a start-up to render multimedia experiences on devices using low bandwidth, but said that after speaking with Macromedia President of Products Norm Meyrowitz, he fell in love with the company’s developer community and potential for traction in the mobile space.

While Macromedia has had a presence in the mobile space, he said, they hadn’t taken the steps to turn it into a major business — until now.

– by Clint Boulton, originally published on InternetNews.com. Read entire story here.

Moviso Exec Goes to WireJack

Former Moviso CEO Jon Bukosky has taken the reigns at WireJack, a mobile entertainment network and marketing company that launched in 2003. The company’s former chief executive, Reza Kad, will remain an active board member.

Bukosky was vice president at Moviso, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Net that was recently acquired by Infospace for $25 million.

U.K. Celebrates With Text

While a significant portion of the global population celebrated the arrival of 2004 with parties, kisses and revelry, U.K. mobile users were texting their good wishes to each other. The Mobile Data Association (MDA) reports that a text messaging record was set on New Year’s Day 2004 when 111 million celebratory greetings were sent.

The record-breaking figure represents an 8 percent increase over New Year’s day 2003, when 102 million messages were sent. However, there was a whopping 59 percent increase over the first day of 2002 and the first day of 2003.

Used as an efficient and cost-effective method for exchanging greetings, short message service (SMS) exploded across the UK in the years since 1992 when the first text message was reportedly sent. The MDA found that U.K. mobile phone owners send an average of 56 million text messages in a typical day across the four U.K. GSM networks – O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone – with roughly 2.3 million sent every hour.

The MDA measured 16.8 billion chargeable person-to-person text messages were sent across the four U.K. GSM networks in 2002, with predictions of 20 billion text messages during 2003, and expectations of roughly 23 billion in 2004.

Holidays and sporting events are found to be among the highest text messaging days for mobile users in the UK. In addition to the staggering New Year’s Day figures, the holidays that had high SMS volume were Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.

– by Robyn Greenspan, originally published on CyberAtlas.

Verizon to Expand 3G Network

Verizon Wireless is preparing to expand its 3G BroadbandAccess service nationally, potentially expanding the market for rich mobile campaigns as phone users get access to fast, graphics-rich phones.

Since October 2003, BroadbandAccess has been successfully deployed in Washington D.C. with Lucent Technologies, and in San Diego with Nortel Networks. The high-speed data network, which supports bigger downloads and applications, is expected to be available in several other major U.S. cities this summer, Verizon said. Additional markets will be phased in through 2005.

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