Posted tagged ‘mBlox’

mBlox Powers “In Stadium Solutions” to Improve Security and Safety Via Text Message

October 7, 2009

Client mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announced that the company is powering In Stadium Solutions’ rapidly growing security and marketing fan text messaging service for sporting events held in prominent venues such as Dolphin Stadium, Notre Dame Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Daytona International Speedway. The service has also been active at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and BCS National Championship Game.

From the release:

ISS’ text messaging system reduces the number of incidents and improves security at venues by allowing fans to simply and discreetly text a shortcode with a keyword and a brief description of the issue and its location. Ushers, public safety personnel, first aid and event staff can then quickly and efficiently take action as needed. This has helped reduce the number of unruly incidents and dramatically increased the response time to any type of issue such as medical situations, housekeeping and other guest service issues.

In addition to security and safety issues, ISS enables venues to engage directly with fans both while they are at the venue, through mediums such as quizzes and special offers, and after the event with incentives for the fans to return. The system can also be used to generate sponsorship revenue.

“In Stadium Solutions is a highly innovative company which has taken SMS and turned it into a service that enables stadium ushers and security personnel to address incidents before they turn into problems,” said Brian Johnson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas and Asia Pacific for mBlox. “Billions of SMS are sent each month so consumers know and trust the format. Clearly, the major sporting venues have seen the value in enabling spectators to alert staff inconspicuously with no danger to the fans themselves.”

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CES: Las Vegas

January 7, 2009

Gil Grissom may be leaving CSI this week, but people are just arriving in Las Vegas for one of the biggest shows of the year.

It’s expected that while attendance may be down slightly this year due to the struggling economy, as many as 130,000 attendees will be converging on the city for the 42nd annual International Consumer Electronics Show.

The show always has a great lineup of speakers and this year will be no different (minus Bill Gates of course). For those of you who are already in Vegas, and plan to leave the comfort of the hotels and casinos for the show, make sure to check out clients from ACCESS, mBlox and Nero on these thought provoking panels at Digital Hollywood, co-located at CES:

Thursday, January 8

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Track III- ME6- Mobile Entertainment Track

Reinventing the Mobile Device and Mobile Network- Integrating the Full PC Experience into a Personal Communications Device

Albert Chu, VP of Marketing & Alliances, ACCESS Systems America


For Session Description & Speaker Bios Click Here

Thursday, January 8

Noon to 1 p.m.

Track III- ME7, Mobile Entertainment Track

The Mobile Web: The Future of Applications, Commerce, GPS, Communications and Content

Larry Berkin, VP, Ecosystem and Corporate Business Development, ACCESS Systems America


For Session Description & Speaker Bios Click Here

Thursday, January 8

3 to 4 p.m.

Track III- ME9- Mobile Entertainment Track

Mobile Commerce and Content- The Mobile Web, Off Deck Content, Mobile Search and Advertising Options

Brian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Americas and Asia Pacific, mBlox


For Session Description & Speaker Bios Click Here

Additionally, Nero US President, Richard Carriere, will be a featured speaker on January 9, at 3 p.m. in the North Hall – N261. His panel, “The Television, the PC, Online Video and the Digital Consumer Experience” will discuss consumers’ use of TV as the gateway to entertainment and information. Included in the discussion will be the topics of interactive TV, IPTV, PVR TV, broadband-based TV, as well as the many ways that consumers will use and access content and programming.

Nero Move it, Nero 9 and Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC will be showcased at the AMD-sponsored Nero Theater at the Nero booth, January 8-10 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 4, #35625.

Nero and OEM partner product trials and promotional giveaways will also be offered at the Nero Theater, with the first demonstration of Nero 9 at 11 a.m. PT, Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC at 1 p.m. PT, and Nero Move it at 3 p.m. PT. This newly expanded Nero product line represents the company’s delivery of liquid media technology — where the TV and PC are merged and digital entertainment content moves easily across a variety of devices.

If you’re interested in meeting one-on-one with Nero at CES, please contact Karen Clyne at (408) 727-0351 ext 763 or karenc@mcgrathpower.com.

It should be a great show once again this year. Looking for more information? CNN has a great preview of the show today.

From CNN:

With many Americans struggling to pay bills, find jobs and even avoid foreclosure, it may seem like an extravagance to spend hundreds of dollars on a laptop or a digital camera.

But financial fears also are causing consumers to spend more time at home, where they still want to be entertained. Industry observers believe this nesting trend could sustain demand for products — Blu-ray players, stereos, video games, cheap computers — that brighten the family room while easing the sting of canceling that Disney World vacation.

“We’re about to experience a renaissance in in-home entertainment,” said Scott Steinberg, publisher of DigitalTrends.com. “History proves that even during times of recession, people are willing to invest heavily in great escapes, and products that take their mind off the concerns and vagaries of everyday life.

“That being said, consumers are becoming smarter about how they spend their money,” he added. “This year’s mindset will be less about luxury than convenience, and a specific gadget or technology’s pure ability at the end of the day to get the job done.”

With an uneasy eye on the economy, tech companies seem to be scaling back expectations for CES, which kicks off officially on Thursday. Attendance will likely be down about 8 percent, and few blockbuster announcements are expected. Industry heavyweights also are downsizing the usual slate of lavish corporate parties that in 2006 saw the Foo Fighters gigging for Motorola and Intel hosting The Black Eyed Peas.

“The pre-buzz has really been a lot quieter than it’s been in recent years,” said Kent German, a senior editor at CNET.com, who is attending his fifth CES. German believes more tech companies are choosing to launch products at other times of the year when they don’t have to compete for attention.

Verizon To Raise Text Message Costs…Or Maybe They Won’t

October 11, 2008

It appears that Verizon plans to impose drastic new fees for vendor-generated text messages. Or do they?

The story has been big news across the mobile content, marketing and messaging industries over the past 24 hours and is still unfolding as we speak this evening.

As most of you know, mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, is a client of mine so I have kept up to date with developments throughout the day. Here’s a few articles to give you a little more insight into this developing, and most interesting, story.

From RCR Wireless News:

The off-deck content world reacted with shock to Verizon Wireless’ plan to impose a drastic new fee for vendor-generated text messages. However, it’s unclear whether the carrier will actually follow through with the charge.

The nation’s No. 2 carrier this week informed partners that it plans tack on a 3-cent charge for every MT (motile terminated) message processed on its network beginning Nov. 1. MT messages typically include text alerts, interactive voting notifications and SMS search responses, and have become increasingly popular as SMS has become mainstream in the United States.

“There’s absolutely a sense of panic, and it has to do with the immediacy of the move,” said Steve Livingston, CMO of mBlox, a dominant player in the message-aggregation space. “We really haven’t had time to discuss it. There are a lot of questions that we’re trying to assess.”

From Wireless Week:

A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman characterized the move as something the company needs to do as part of business, but content providers and aggregators are concerned the rate increase will cause brands and marketers to ditch mobile in favor of cheaper, more traditional alternatives, like e-mail.

“This recent announcement from Verizon is very significant because a large number of market segments will no longer be able to participate in off-portal SMS services. Although we understand the carrier’s need to monetize, the immediacy, the market timing and level of cost will create a shock to the system,” said Steve Livingston, chief marketing officer at SMS aggregator mBlox. “The mobile channel will quickly become unattractive to many companies, small and large, that have been investing in new innovative programs and services.”

From the New York Times:

Verizon Wireless this week told companies that send out text messages that starting Nov. 1 it will impose a fee of 3 cents for each message it delivers to the phones of its subscribers. The plan prompted waves of protest among many of the companies that use text messages, and Verizon has backed off the details.

Steve Livingston, the director of marketing for mBlox, which processes text messages for companies including News Corporation’s MySpace social network and The New York Times, said the volume of messages it handles could fall by more than half.

“Alert services and social networks don’t work at 3 cents,” Mr. Livingston said.

Mr. Livingston and Zaw Thet, the chief executive of 4Info, a company that sends messages on behalf of Yahoo and USA Today, said Verizon had sent them information that was much more specific than what Mr. Nelson described.

“We received a formal notification of a rate change,” Mr. Livingston said, adding that the short time frame would be disruptive for mBlox’s customers.

“We have a lot of companies that have been working on their fall marketing campaigns,” he said.

Mr. Livingston and Mr. Thet said Verizon was discussing alternative pricing plans with big senders of text messages. And they said that some payment to the wireless carriers was appropriate, given the growth of text-message advertising.

From CNET:

The blogosphere has been up in arms over the past 24 hours as news spread that Verizon Wireless is planning to increase the per-message fee it charges companies that send text alerts.

My colleague Matt Diaz at ZDNet said he’d stop using Twitter if the charge was passed along to him.

“Certainly, as someone who updates my own Twitter account somewhat regularly, I’m not inclined to start paying for users to receive my notifications via SMS. If that were the case, I’d just stop using Twitter.”

But Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, said the price hike has not been finalized. Still, he acknowledged that Verizon Wireless has been discussing ways to offset increased costs associated with heavy volumes of SMS text messaging on its network.

“We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and, importantly, our friends in the nonprofit and public policy arenas,” he said in an e-mail. “To that end, we recently notified text messaging aggregators–those for-profit companies that provide services to content providers to aggregate and bill for their text messaging programs–that we are exploring ways to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

From InformationWeek:

On Friday, a Verizon Wireless spokesman said the message was not the final world on the increase, which is still under consideration. “That draft was intended to stimulate internal business discussions and in no way should have been released to the public and represented as a final document,” he said in an e-mail.RCR reported that companies sending text messages and other content today typically pay from a fraction of a penny to a few cents a message, a rate that Nelson did not challenge. The spokesman said an increase, which would be the first since the service began in 2003, was under consideration “to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

A fee boost could be particularly difficult on startups entering a crowded market for providing mobile services. Large Internet companies, such as Google and Yahoo, are unlikely to enjoy paying more to reach users, as well as traditional media companies that send news alerts and other content, such as CNN or ESPN.

Barack Obama Wins SMS Text Message Election at CTIA

September 16, 2008

Client mBlox held a virtual text message election at this year’s CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment fall tradeshow this past week and Barack Obama has been revealed as the winner.

From mBlox:

SMS text message voters at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) Wireless I.T. & Entertainment industry tradeshow in San Francisco have “elected” Barack Obama the next President of the United States. Using the mBlox mobile transaction network and mobile technology provided by Local Solutions Network (LSN), participants from around the country used the power of text messaging to cast their vote. Attendees cast their ballots by texting “McCain” or “Obama” to the short code 2VOTE (28683) to take part in this election. Obama captured 56.2 percent of the vote which was conducted September 10-12.

“This is a terrific example of how short codes can be used to reach people who are truly mobile and on the go,” said Steve Livingston, chief marketing officer of mBlox. “Mobile short codes are very effective tools for a wide variety of uses and our partners like LSN make it simple and fast to implement a mobile campaign.”

According to Nielson Mobile, 116 million Americans actively use text messaging on a daily basis. Text messaging has already played an important role in the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama. Obama’s text message announcing his vice presidential candidate selection of Joe Biden reached approximately 2.9 million subscribers, many of whom signed-up with the promise receiving vital information via text messaging on their cell phone.

“Using our memorable 2VOTE short code, any voting application can be customized simply by changing the keywords,” said Lee Durham, president, LSN. “Our job is to make it as easy as possible to vote for virtually anything or anyone and in this case, potentially the next President of the United States.

mBlox Selects Ken Elmer as New Chief Financial Officer

August 21, 2008

Client mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announced that Ken Elmer has joined the company as its chief financial officer (CFO). As CFO, Elmer will be responsible for leading the global finance, human resources, and facilities functions of the company.

mBlox specializes in providing operator connectivity and mobile billing capabilities to businesses around the globe. The company is the intermediary between businesses and mobile operators managing the delivery and billing of mobile content and mobile services. mBlox maintains a unique position in the mobile value chain as the only company to focus its resources on the commercial and technical complexities of mobile billing and mobile message delivery.

“mBlox is experiencing tremendous growth as more and more businesses around the world are using SMS text messaging for their mobile marketing, mobile entertainment and mobile business needs,” said Jeff Clark, CEO of mBlox. “Ken has led finance teams in companies ranging from a small angel investor-backed private business to several large subsidiaries within a multi-billion dollar public entity. His proven skills will allow mBlox to continue to provide the highest level of quality and service to our global customer base.”

Previously, Elmer was the senior vice president of finance and administration for Tiburon, Inc. where he successfully aided the strategic focus of the management team on a product retooling while driving the successful negotiation of two of the largest services contracts in the company’s history. Prior to Tiburon, Elmer was a division level chief financial officer at Pacific Bell and Pacific Telesis Group, and CFO at Visionael Corporation, The MapFactory and TCSI, Inc. At TCSI, Elmer stepped into the CEO position, working with the board, to pursue an exit strategy which resulted in a successful acquisition by Rocket Software in 2003.

Ken Elmer, CFO, mBlox

Ken Elmer, CFO, mBlox

“I am delighted to work for a strong international company that has established itself as the global leader for delivery and billing with expertise in markets around the world,” said Elmer. “mBlox has an enormous amount of opportunity in this industry and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping to take the company to the next level of success.”

Elmer graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors in business administration from the University of North Texas and is a certified public accountant.

mBlox Launches Global Network Management Center

August 13, 2008

My client, mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announced that it is launching a global network management center (NMC) to provide upgraded monitoring and maintenance capabilities to their network.

With a global investment of over $2 million, and expansion of its Singapore Network Operations Center, mBlox will be able to further monitor detailed network activity and react to any issues before resulting problems could occur. The NMC will also be able to monitor and react to activity around the clock at the other mBlox network operation centers located in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Customer data will now be more readily accessible by mBlox customer support from a single location and the company can trace individual transactions from the many terabytes of data in a near real-time basis. This will allow mBlox customer support easier access of data and better customer service across the network. The implementation of a technical knowledge-base will also improve the diagnostics of the overall network, simplifying maintenance and reducing or eliminating downtime due to technical anomalies.

Justin Leese, senior vice president of technology at mBlox stated “This level of investment in our network is a testament to our ongoing commitment to providing the best levels of service and support in the industry. Our ongoing investment in the latest technology and equipment not only reduces our operational costs but most importantly strengthens our capabilities and 24/7 support to all of our customers in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions.”

mBlox is the world’s largest mobile transaction network. The company specializes in simplifying the complexities, commercial and technical, of mobile billing and SMS text message transmission for their clients. Via a carrier-grade network, mBlox enables companies to communicate with mobile subscribers on more than 500 carriers in 180 countries, millions of times each day. The company has U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley, with EMEA headquarters in London, Asia headquarters in Singapore and offices around the world.