Wanted: business model for free mobile network

Mobile classifieds to pay bills for Blyk

Blyk; the virtual mobile operator launching later this year with free calls and messaging, has revealed that mobile classifieds will make up a significant part of their income.

Mobile Entertainment reports comments from Jonathan MacDonald, sales director of Blyk: "There’s so much talk about mobile advertising, but it’s easy to overlook the potential of user-generated ads. Our system makes it easy for individuals to define and send ads to other users. I think they will – in big numbers."

The idea is that punters will be able to select a demographic, and geography, then send an SMS advert out to all the Blyk customers who fit the bill: for which they will be charged an appropriate amount.

One of the challenges facing any advertising-supported service is that the demographic most interested in free stuff is rarely of interest to advertisers: anyone trying to save a few quid in call charges is unlikely to be in the market for a new car or designer clothes, so by focusing on classified advertisements Blyk might be on to something.

In April Blyk announced that Orange would be their carrier for their UK launch: they're still planning on a mid-2007 launch, which by our reckoning gives them until the end of the month.

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