World Telemedia Spotlights Off-Portal Mobile Content

As much as 70 percent of premium mobile content distributed in the UK is distributed off-portal, but this lively market could stagnate if billing processes, search engines, and mobile network operators don’t all play their part in making it as easy as possible for consumers to find, download, and buy services, according to the organizers of World Telemedia.

This is the key focus of the World Telemedia conference in Amsterdam Nov. 16-18. The event features an opening keynote debate between Vodafone, Ericsson, Bango, Openwave, Transact Group, Mobile Media, Echovox, Opera, and Volantis discussing the role of on- and off-portal content. The mobile media industry will get insight into the future plans of the mobile networked operators in further embracing off-portal and what it means for content developers and publishers.

“To get off-portal content distribution to work effectively requires the establishment of a billing mechanism or mechanisms that are flexible, robust, and safe enough to work. With the fledgling mobile payment system Simpay now dead and buried, World Telemedia is bringing together a panel of billing experts from across the globe to debate what comes next in payments,” says Sofia Hagerling, one of the event organizers. “Many have already argued that Simpay was actually a hindrance to the growth of the mobile content segment, and there is a groundswell of opinion that suggests that premium rate SMS is simply not up to the demands of content distribution that is getting more complex and pervasive.

“So what is the answer? The expert panel at World Telemedia is looking to show that anything from unofficial cooperation between players – as witnessed in France with Gallery – to a unified billing model where different billing companies seamlessly handle on-deck billing for customers depending on what they buy are all in the frame. By the end of the event we hope to have the beginnings of an industry consensus.”