British O2 reports an increase of 50% on WAP page downloads, mainly because of its lifestyle on-line service O2 Active.
Its service is showing strong growth and is being used by more than one million customers, representing half of the compatible base. O2 Active is proving instrumental in driving up usage of a variety of mobile data services such as games, ringtones and surfing the Internet from a mobile handset. The number of WAP/content pages downloaded has increased by some 50% since the launch of O2 Active in July 2003, to 559 million page impressions in October. Based on WAP page impressions, O2 records the highest usage of any UK operator.
Linda Summers, VP Portfolio Marketing at O2, commented: "The impressive growth in the take-up of O2 Active demonstrates that, when services and information of value are made available in a way that is intuitive and easy for customers to understand, then they start to use these services more."
O2 also announced that it is to trial the next phase of O2 Active, powered by SurfKitchen's SurfKit Mobile platform. It is the first operator to 'install' its icon driven menu - O2 Active - onto the handset rather than being available over a browser. This will make O2 Active and the on phone menu an integrated experience for the customer, bringing together the most popular functions of the phone and services of O2 Active. The handset-based menu streamlines personalisation through the simple selection of ringtones and wallpaper, which are extremely popular with high value 'youth' customers. Content is updated on a regular basis, and automatically 'pushed' to the customers handset, enabling them to access the latest news, sport and entertainment as well as get ringtones and games in a single 'click' . Next generation O2 Active ensures that customers only pay for the information and services that they actually want.
As with other new mobile data services, such as the recently announced O2 Music and video streaming services, O2 will be trialling this service with existing customers to tailor it for a commercial launch early in 2004. Triallists have been selected from across O2's UK base, including its highly successful online channel, giving them the opportunity to shape the mobile data services of the future.
The trial will run in the UK initially and last for two months. O2 is trialling using the latest Symbian handsets, including the Nokia 6600, as well as more established devices such as the Nokia 7650 and 3650.