Feeds

Orange to carry Blyk network

Free service finds itself an operator

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Orange has agreed to carry Blyk's free calls and messaging service, to be launched in the UK later this year.

The Blyk service will be targeted at the teenage market and provide free voice calls and texts in exchange for demographic information which will be used to target advertising.

That's all Blyk is saying at the moment, but First Hop, the company providing the technology that will deliver the advertising, gave us some indication of the services they can provide.

Blyk will be able to charge advertisers a premium on the basis that it knows their customers intimately so can target adverts to the right person at the right time.

Customers will have to fill in basic demographic data when they sign up, and First Hop will track their phone and messaging usage to further build up a profile. Websites visited will be recorded, along with times and dates of calls, but the contents of SMS messages won't be used; at least not initially.

Everyone involved is nervous of infringing privacy, a concern which will also prevent location data contributing to the profile. Location data will be used to deliver advertising to customers within a specific area at a specific time, but not stored for analysis.

The ads will be delivered as SMS and MMS messages, and maybe a banner at the top of all browsing sessions. First Hop can append adverts to customer-originated messages, but Blyk hasn't asked for that as yet.

What's most surprising is that Blyk isn't planning something more integrated into the phone handset - though such an application would require an advanced handset, it could provide much greater value for the advertiser. It's likely that handset volumes have discouraged Blyk from adopting this approach - it would need to order an awful lot of handsets to get its own interface pre-installed.

One can't help being reminded of the various free PC offerings of the .com boom, most of which were based on a very similar model. They failed because hardware got cheaper and advertisers got wise to the potential of online advertising, or lack thereof. It remains to be seen if Blyk can carry off in mobile phones what failed so decidedly on the desktop. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.