Our Bureau

Chennai, Nov. 22

Airvoice Infocom Erode Private Ltd will launch its recently patented mobile advertising solution in early 2007. The patent has been granted by the Controller of Patents, Government of India.

Called `HopAd', the solution will make callers listen to an advertisement (ad) for free prior to connecting with the dialled number. This is optional and can be indicated prior to calling a number, said Mr Sivakumar, Managing Director, Airvoice. If opted, the user would first listen to an ad (ranging between 10 seconds and 30 seconds) and then hear the ring tone of the number dialled.

Users dialling `*' followed by the number would hear an ad. Alternately users may also dial *38 and *37 to enable and disable ads, said Mr Sivakumar.

The company is in talks with small-scale advertisers focusing on niche target groups. Advertisers would pay mobile service providers for the duration that the ad is aired.

Depending on the product advertised for and the target group, advertisers may also fund longer portions of the call, said Mr Sivakumar. However, only one ad per call can be aired.For mobile service providers, HopAd will generate revenues out of missed calls and non-reachable calls too. Missed calls and non-reachable calls are not paid for. But using HopAd advertisers would pay for airtime irrespective of missed calls and non-reachable calls, said Mr R. Vasudevan, Director (Technical), Airvoice. The company is talking to CDMA and GSM service providers in Tamil Nadu to launch HopAd. Tying up with service providers, Airvoice would share subscriber databases. "We will invest over Rs 1 crore to create and maintain a separate ad database that will include demographic data and purchase patterns of these subscribers," said Mr Vasudevan. Based on advertiser specifications, a select group of subscribers would be chosen from the ad database as targets for the ad. Airvoice will also enter into agreements with mobile telephony exchanges to route these ads to targeted mobile subscribers.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 23, 2006)
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