Alcatel-Lucent Jumps Into Mobile Advertising

The company will offer cellular carriers a way to deliver location-relevant advertisements to millions of mobile customers.
Alcatel-Lucent is launching a product that will enable carriers to deliver advertisements to its customers based on their location.

The company is teaming with the mobile ad company 1020 Placecast to offer a hosted end-to-end solution for mobile operators to provide proximity marketing. For example, if a customer signs up to receive information about Starbucks, the user could be sent an SMS or MMS ad when he or she is near one. Additionally, the system can be set up so each individual store can send a different promotional message depending on what sales they have or what is in stock.

The service utilizes Alcatel-Lucent's Geographic Messaging Services Platform to determine where the customer is, and it can produce results that are accurate up to a few meters, depending on the sensors in the device. The service complies with the standard privacy laws and the marketing features are opt in for end users, the company said.

"This offering enables carriers, and the brands they support, to create a highly relevant and personalized experience for mobile users while also delivering immediate return on investment," said Gani Nayak, president of Alcatel-Lucent's rich communication business, in a statement. "It combines Alcatel-Lucent's best-in-class geo-fencing technology with Placecast's leading location-based ad platform to launch large-scale, proximity-based mobile marketing campaigns."

It's unclear if the demand for location-based ads on mobile phones is very strong, but the market is expected to generate up to $10 billion by 2013. Alcatel-Lucent said its system is the only one that's scalable enough to keep up with millions of customers if and when consumers show more interest in proximity marketing.

With mobile devices taking on increasingly important tasks for enterprises, some companies may be facing trouble without a mobile device management plan. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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