CTIA: In Search Of Mobility

Mobile search and advertising was a hot topic at CTIA, with several new players wading into the fray long dominated by Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo! Mobile. Notably, JumpTap Inc. was on hand to talk up its white-label platform for operators, and how its poised to take on the big boys.

Search and advertising is an incredible opportunity, said Jorey Ramer, vice president of corporate development at JumpTap. Brands are trying to get in front of consumers, while consumers have a filter where they ignore advertising. Mobile is new and gets their attention, so we have click-through rates of whole percentage points, instead of points of percentage points like on the Web.

The key to sustaining that, he said, is by integrating with the operators most precious resource: customer data. JumpTap ties into the CRM system and other back office carrier platforms to create a holistic view of the subscriber, to be able to target messaging more effectively. We know who that user is, and we have a sort of permanent cookie with them, said Ramer. Google, Yahoo! and Microsofts algorithms are made for the online space, but they break down in mobile because theyre trying to disintermediate the operator. Those operators are just going to block them.

JumpTap is banking on ease of use and a high profile to drive usage, traffic and revenue. It has been integrated into the handsets for Alltel Wireless, for one by holding a search button down the phone opens up the search engine automatically. JumpTap is looking to embed the application and advertising more deeply within all carrier data services, such as gaming or e-mail. We believe mobile will be bigger of a market than online, said Ramer. And it will also grow faster because we already have an ingrained value chain.

JumpTap Inc.

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