SOUTH AFRICA NETWORK LAUNCHES MOBILE WEB OFFERING

Digital Content

Local online network, 24.com, has launched a mobile platform targeting the burgeoning number of locals accessing the Internet via Web-enabled phones.

Accessible directly at http://m.24.com or by SMS’ing 'Go’ to 32424, 24.com Mobile includes portal content adapted for mobile phones such as breaking news from News24, as well as sport, finance, motoring and entertainment news, movie information and TV guides. Users will also have access to 24.com’s free e-mail service as well as a five-day rolling weather forecast.

Russell Atkins, GM: 24.com Mobile, says Mobile Web usage in SA is growing rapidly, but has largely gone unnoticed by mainstream media and marketers. 24.com Mobile is intended to cater to this local demand in a vastly under-developed market.

Comments Atkins: “SA mobile Internet usage is growing exponentially. We have a unique situation in that there is a very high mobile phone to PC ratio - one of the highest in the world. This, coupled with extremely affordable mobile data rates, high penetration of GPRS or 3G ready phones, and tech-savvy consumers, will provide the catalyst for future growth.”

These market factors have driven the adoption of disruptive communication services such as MXit, now boasting over 3,5m users, and aim to provide a platform for the rapid adoption of mobile Web content going forward.

Several international reports provide further evidence of the potential that exists for the proliferation of the mobile Web locally: The BBC reports 20% of its international WAP traffic originating from SA; Opera Mini, a mobile browser, reports SA as one of its top five territories worldwide; An international mobile advertising network claims over 60m page views per month originating from SA.

ICT World