Feeds

Is Novarra Nokia's advertising play?

There's a lot more to it than a browser

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

Last week Nokia bought Novarra, but it's unlikely the Finns were interested in a new browser when the company's main business points towards a rather more revolutionary offering from Nokia.

Novarra does have a browser, but its main business is intercepting web mobile browsing sessions to collect demographic data, as well as optimising the content for the device being used. Simple tricks such as reducing the colour depth can make mobile browsing much faster, while the data gathered can be invaluable to the network operator, or anyone else interested in promoting the mobile web.

Vodafone has used Novarra in the UK for a few years now to gather user information, as well as adding its own navigation bar to downloaded pages. The launch was pretty rocky, with sites complaining that Novarra was mangling their content, but Vodafone responded to complaints and the service has been happily making life better for Vodafone surfers ever since with nary a complaint.

It's possible that Nokia plans to replace its existing browser, but far more likely that the company is interested in hosting its own optimisation service which could improve the browsing experience on every Nokia handset and create a direct connection from Nokia to its end customers.

It's worth noting that Novarra-competitor Drutt was bought by Ericsson, not Sony Ericsson. Drutt was seen as something that network operators would buy and deploy in the way that Vodafone has deployed Novarra. That would make Novarra a natural acquisition for Nokia Siemens (the network infrastructure vendor) rather than Nokia (the handset manufacturer and wannabe service provider), but it's Nokia which will be offering enhanced mobile browsing.

Yahoo is already doing just this. Click on the results from Yahoo's OneSearch and the returned page comes optimised for your mobile handset - a service provided by Novarra.

One can easily imagine Nokia offering an enhanced browsing experience, tweaked for its own handsets but probably available to all. This is in exchange for a little automatically gathered demographic information and the opportunity to insert the occasional advert at a later stage, of course. Even the iPhone might benefit from a little content optimisation, and Nokia would be pleased to provide it.

It's possible that it was the Novarra's Vision Browser that attracted Nokia, but far more likely that Nokia's vision involves interceding between mobile browsers and their content, for the good of all concerned. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.