Mobile ads to pay for free texting

Cellphone owners look to ditch landline

Mobile phone users are being offered the chance to send text messages for free in return for viewing ads on their phones.

The service is due to be unveiled later this month with the firm behind it busy recruiting punters to take part in beta testing. Exactly how many free texts peoplewill receive depends entirely on how many advertisers are prepared to give away.

I-movo - a mobile marketing company whose clients include Nectar and All Bar One - has hooked up with mobile technology provider i-text to launch the service.

"In an industry where results are typically difficult to quantify, this system is set to provide some real benefits," said i-movo md David Tymm.

"It goes way beyond the traditional 'pay per click' models established by search engines to provide much greater measurability of all advertising success."

Elsewhere, research from Strategy Analytics found that one in five mobile users in Europe would consider ditching their landline altogether and stick instead with their cellphone.

One in five homes in Europe is already "mobile only", says the report, and cellcos should be encouraged that such a large numbers of punters would consider pulling the plug on their fixed line phone.

But the research found that those most likely to cut their ties with a fixed line operator were younger people - especially if the cost of calls fell to landline rates. Older peeps and those with families were more likely to plump for triple pay services.

"We found massive interest in the ability to call from home on your cellphone at landline rates, something both cellular operators and fixed-mobile operators can offer," said David Kerr, a VP at Strategy Analytics. ®

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