Light Reading

Blyk Stalls UK Launch

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
7/9/2007
50%
50%

The U.K. launch date for ad-funded mobile service Blyk has slipped, though the startup's CEO is maintaining a "business as normal" stance.

The service provider's founder and CEO Pekka Ala-Pietilä tells Unstrung that the service will launch in the summer of 2007, the timeframe stated in May.

But Blyk's press relations team has broken ranks with its client, and says the service won't meet its original launch date. (See Blyk Preps Summer Launch and Blyk Plans UK Launch.)

"I know it won't be launching in August as scheduled," says a Blyk spokesman. "We don't have an official launch date."

That admission followed a report in today's Guardian newspaper, which stated that the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has delayed its ad-funded service by several months and isn't expected to launch until October.

Any number of factors could be delaying the service's launch, but Ala-Pietilä, the former president of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), would not be drawn on what aspect of the service needs the most attention right now. (See Nokia Changes Management.)

"When you are launching something you have to make sure that all the elements get a similar amount of attention... so that there is a complete experience for the consumers and advertisers," says Blyk's CEO. "You cannot single out any particular part as less significant."

Blyk will offer free calls and texts in exchange for receiving relevant advertisements -- initially targeted SMS messages -- based on user profiles and usage patterns. The service will be aimed at young people aged between 16 and 24.

Blyk has outsourced network operations to Nokia Networks and has an MVNO agreement with Orange UK . The mobile advertising platform comes from First Hop Ltd. The advertisers that are already on board include Buena Vista, Coca-Cola, I-play Mobile Gaming, L'Oreal Paris, StepStone, and Yell.com. (See Blyk Outsources to NSN and First Hop Pushes Ads.)

But what could hold up the service?

For one thing, Blyk is Orange's first MVNO partner in the U.K. According to one industry source, Blyk's service was always unlikely to launch on schedule because of Orange's lack of MVNO experience in Britain.

On the business side, the operator may not have finalized the tariff plans. The service won't be entirely free, and the line between free versus paid-for minutes and texts could be difficult to draw. But getting the tariffs right will be critical for this service because its youthful audience is particularly price sensitive.

In addition, Blyk is breaking new ground in the mobile advertising space. Getting relevant ads to consumers at the right time is new for advertisers as well as for the back office systems that will support Blyk's marketing plans.

One advertiser views Blyk as something of an experiment.

"Nobody really knows exactly what is the right mix of channels for promoting mobile applications and services," says Carey Bunks, senior vice president of business development at Yell.com, one of Blyk's advertisers. "Blyk is one of the things we want to try out."

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.