Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/11/novarra_laptops/

Novarra offers to infest mobile data on laptops too

Interstitial content not limited to phone browsers

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 11th February 2009 14:39 GMT

Novarra, the company providing the technology that inserts Vodafone's branding into Vodafone Live sessions and which has just relaunched US Cellular's mobile internet service, is expanding its capabilities into laptop browsing.

Novarra Vision is a software package that optimises content on its way to a mobile browser, requiring no special software on the device it intercepts requests at the network level and mutates the content as it passes through. Novarra can now offer the service to operators punting 3G dongles for laptop users as well as those browsing the web on a tiny screen.

To users Novarra grabs content and compresses it for mobile browsing - reducing colour depth, removing unsupported plug-in data and that kind of thing, based on the device being used and resulting in faster mobile browsing. To network operators Novarra allows them to stick a branded "navigation" bar on every page, and show adverts while pages are being loaded, as well as reducing the bandwidth used.

This isn't quite like Phorm's user profiling, though Novarra does offer: "Clear understanding of consumer behaviour, traffic and service metrics via analytics dashboard and reporting" as well as being able to insert "personalisation, usability aids, navigation toolbars and interstitial content and advertising". So it's not a million miles off either.

As Randy Cavaiani, vice president for marketing, puts it: "Operators can enhance performance, enable new services, extend branding, and create new advertising opportunities."

No operator has signed up to using the latest features of Vision yet, but it will be interesting to see who is first, and if they can tread carefully enough to avoid upsetting users.®