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Friday, 01 September 2006 04:35

Indian start-up Moveo gets ready to roll out mobile M-tickets


ImageE-ticketing will soon be passé. M-ticketing is going to be the rage. M-ticketing (tickets on the mobile) is one of the applications that Moveo, the latest Indian start-up in mobile applications is coming up with.

The way it works is this: Say you are booking an airline ticket through your mobile – you would get the bar-code of the ticket booked as a multimedia message back to your mobile. You would show that, along with your passport/ID at the airport counter, it gets scanned and you have your boarding pass – no printout needed from your PC or laptop.

One more cool application that retailers are going to get hooked onto is this: an attempt to make malls mobile-centric.

Although this works on the lines of how push technology works – sending out messages if you are in a mall about promotions in various outlets, this comes with a difference. This message is in color graphics which show the Barista coffee shop or the Benetton or Hilfiger outlet.

And if you need more information or need to call up – there is no need to memorize SMS short-codes (text messaging) – all you got to do is click on an icon on the display. And the most important point is this – you “opt in” to get these messages – it not spam shoved into your mobile.

Two-month-old Moveo, which has been started by Sankalp Saxena (former Chairman and MD of Macromedia India and i2 Technologies India) and two others from i2 Technologies been seed funded (US$1 million) by investors from companies like General Electric, IBM , FeatherLite and others.

With ambitious plans to ramp up from a mere 14 engineers to 60 by this year end which would double by next year, Moveo is ready with its prototype applications and is soon going to sign up with retailers.

Says Saxena “Today, it is data services that are high up on the list for cellular operators. Voice is going to be bundled along with data offerings and the only way you can make a difference in this world of data on mobile is by offering never-before kind of applications.”

Currently these types of colorful and easy to use mobile applications are offered by NTT DoCoMo on the i-mode platform in Japan on its CDMA technology platform.

“We are going to start off with GSM but our technology is platform agnostic,” Saxena adds.

Furthermore, you don’t need high-end handsets for these applications to work. Data-enabled phones like the Nokia series 60 would do.

Today it is compelling value added data services that are going to be key differentiators to cellular operators in India where 4-5 million new subscribers are coming into mobile fold every month.

Says Deepak Mehrotra, CEO, Karnataka Circle, Bharti- Airtel, “There are three ways that value added services help us. First off, is the productivity to the customer, especially if he happens to be in the commercial or business side. Two, customers are a valued source of revenue for us and we would like to give them the best of experience. And this leads to the third point – empirical research has proved that if operators offer value added service which are compelling, there is more stickiness to the operator’s network.”

Meanwhile, Moveo’s funding is a solid endorsement of the market opportunities that exist in the mobile applications space. “First, we are looking at delivering these next generation solutions that would deliver rich, interactive multi-sensory experiences to subscribers across both the consumer and enterprise sectors in India. Once this takes off here, the global market is what we are aiming at,” Saxena adds confidently.

Interestingly, in the past couple of months a number of Indian companies such as Jigrahak, Paymate, and Mauj Telecom -- all in mobile applications – have been funded by VCs.

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