Communications company and Vodafone partner ComTel has launched the country’s first advertising subsidised mobile phone service, giving users the option of cutting their mobile costs by two-thirds.
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According to the company, the SMSPup Mobile monthly $10 Get $130 Cap Plan offers consumers who are preapred to receive mobile ads a rock-bottom priced post-paid plan.
Core to the plan’s offering says ComTel, “is the extra value generated through special advertising offers and participation rewards. Customers who ‘opt-in’ to the advertising component will receive reward points that can be redeemed for a range of benefits including movie passes, travel discounts and used in auctions for devices such as handsets”.
In other words, users receive a 65 per cent discount off the service’s $29 a month base fee structure.
This launch reinforces ComTel Managing Director David Sweet’s long held view that future profitability for the telecommunications and advertising sectors lies in the convergence of mobile phone, internet and media technologies, according to a company statement.
“While convergence presents the right concept for mobile advertising, reach and relevance are key to its success,” Sweet said, reinforcing that consumers have to want to receive advertising messages for the new medium to work.
“ComTel brings telecommunications technology and expertise to a proven permission-based marketing model to deliver effective and cost efficient mobile campaigns to a ready base of advertisers and consumers,” he said.
The ads SMSPup Mobile users receive will reflect their demographic and lifestyle preferences, providing advertisers a direct, measurable and highly responsive marketing medium.
Sweet said SMSPup Mobile’s permission-based model ensures the consumer “is in control of the advertising process as they can opt-in and out anytime they choose”.
According to a press statement, the European market, often considered to be at the forefront of mobile manufacturing and marketing developments, is expected to see mobile advertising grow from $US231 million in 2008 to $US1.5 billion by 2011.
And here in Australia, a recent survey of 6,500 people conducted by ComTel, found that over half would consider receiving ads on their mobiles if the messages were relevant to their interests and reduced their call and text charges. The survey also found that the mobile ranked the highest on a list of devices people ‘could not live without’ ahead of the laptop/PC and television.
“Advertisers have been waiting for a breakthrough in mobile advertising, and ComTel is delivering a proven and highly cost effective solution,” Sweet said.
Sweet said ComTel was also ready to offer white labeling capabilities for organisations and businesses wanting to brand their own mobile offering.