GSMA Mobile Summit in Macau: Innovation Award Winners

Last November at the GSM Association’s Mobile Summit conference in Macau, four companies took home top billing as the most innovative companies that operate in the APAC region: Consilient, Telegent, Integra Micro Systems and 3ple-Media.

Most Innovative Wireless Device-centric Technology: Telegent. This four-year-old start-up based in Sunnyvale, Calif. is one of the few mobile television companies to avoid the standard wars of DVB-H and MediaFLO to focus on free-to-air television services. Telegent operates under the assumption that carriers need to access both free-to-air content for mobile television as well as $10-a-month premium content to ensure a successful service launch.

Telegent sees the free-to-air content as a bridge for consumers who would not normally pay to receive mobile video streamed to their handsets, which by most accounts is a great majority of mobile users. The problem with offering free-to-air services, and the reason the concept has been neglected until now, is that the antenna technology is difficult to fit inside a mobile phone. That’s why Telegent’s first product, a chip that allows consumers’ mobile phones pick up both analog and digital free-to-air TV signals, won the award.

Telegent currently supports more than 40 handset models in the APAC region and estimates that more than 5 million mobile phone owners make use of its free-to-air technology.

Most Innovative Mobile Application in a Vertical Market: Integra Micro Systems. This 25-year-old company is based in Bangalore, India and counts big names like Motorola and IBM as its clients. Integra’s Mobile Financial Applications Secure Terminal product won it the most innovative app in a vertical market award. The technology enables financial transactions on the mobile platform with the same level of safety as those performed by online banking users. iMFAST has found considerable uptake in ATM-less villages in rural areas where illiterates have had no trouble using the service, according to the company.

“To be the only Indian company to receive a GSMA award in Macau for the most innovation mobile application in Asia, is quite an achievement,” CMO and executive director Ram Sirupurapu said in a statement.

Most Innovative Carrier Infrastructure or Platform: 3ple-Media. This three-year-old start-up launched in the Netherlands but now has operations in Romania, Phillipines, Singapore, South Africa and even Latin America. 3ple offers a platform that separates out the headaches of network bearer capacity for operators from service delivery and creation. In the past, carriers had to update their WAP gateway every time they wanted to launch a new service, which could take up to a year. Of course, by the time the service finally launched, the market had already moved on.

3ple’s aim is to relieve those traditional network bearer capacity headaches so that operators can really drive iterative service creation and deployment like the Internet guys do. That's why the company said it developed a platform with unlimited throughput and broke the traditional transaction per second model.

So far, 3ple has launched with SMART in the Phillipines. The carrier’s first use of the platform was for free news supported by ads for all of its subscribers. Subscribers got news clips, headlines, advertisements, weather information and personalized content like horoscopes or sports updates. 3ple’s goal is to convince consumers that the phone is more than just text and voice.