LONDON: The GSM Association – a trade body representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 217 territories and countries of the world – announced the formation of a working group to define common metrics and measurement processes for mobile advertising.

Using the UK market as a test-bed, the working party comprises 3, FT-Orange Group, O2 Europe, Telefonica, T-Mobile International and Vodafone Group.

Says GSMA ceo Rob Conway: "The commitment of all five UK operators to this initiative is critical for the development and future success of mobile as an advertising channel.

"The working group and the GSMA will facilitate crucial engagement between mobile operators, advertisers and agencies, to help ensure that mobile advertising realises its full potential for the benefit of all players in the ecosystem."

The aim is to provide advertisers and agencies with necessary information both on audience demographics and the effectiveness of mobile advertising.

It is expected that similar initiatives will spread to all major global markets.

  • Meantime in Barcelona, Spain, the planet's largest mobile manufacturer Nokia paraded Share on Ovi – a service it hopes will dominate the mobile web services market and overtake Apple's iPhone.

    The Nokia package comprises a free media-sharing service and a beefed-up handset with memory on a par with that of the recently updated iPhone.

    The firm claims that Share on Ovi makes it easier to upload, manage and share photos and music in a variety of formats.

    It aspires to create an interactive social community with unlimited storage – the equivalent of a dollar-stuffed Holy Grail to most cellphone manufacturers.
  • Nokia's grail-bearer is the new N96, slated for launch in Q3 2008. Offering 16 gigabytes of memory (double that of its current N95 model) plus mobile broadcast TV, it will be central to Nokia's "internet experience" strategy.

    Nokia ceo Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is awash with hyperbole: "We are, in fact, redefining the internet itself as we're making it context aware and more personal," he effused. "With context, the internet becomes a medium of very immediate and personal experiences."

    The iPhone apart, Nokia has but one other rival in the field: Sony Ericsson's upgraded PlayNow internet and mobile phone service. Launching mid-May, it will roll-out to thirty countries worldwide by the end of 2008.

    Data sourced from M&M Europe and Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff