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Mobile Vikings Logo

The word is out. City Live is changing the Belgian telecoms landscape by starting up a new mobile operator with a heart for internet.

Mobile Vikings was supposed to be launched in silence today. With an invite based system, we are aiming for a controlled growth path to let the world get used to our model. Instead, Frederik Tibau from Datanews spotted what we were doing, with a host of other coverage on the internet in it’s slipstream:

http://www.iphoned.nl/gratis-internetten-op-de-iphone/4005/
http://pi007.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/mobile-vikings/
http://www.mobisphere.be/mobisphere/2008/12/mobile-vikings-apporte-linternet-mobile-gratuit-en-belgique.html
http://www.tijd.be/nieuws/ondernemingen_media_telecom/Kleine_gsm-spelers_hebben_bijna_tiende_van_markt.8118364-435.art
http://www.telecompaper.com/nl/article.aspx?cid=650027
http://www.datanews.be/nl/news/90-5-21513/nieuwe-operator–mobile-vikings–biedt-gratis-mobiel-internet.html
http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn%3AARTA.L&display=discussion&action=detail&id=4379533
http://www.nieuws.be/nieuws/Nieuwe_operator_Mobile_Vikings_biedt_gratis_mobiel_internet_2853b6c9.aspx
http://www.iphonic.be/profiles/blogs/gratis-mobiel-internet-met
http://belgoit.be/un-nouvel-operateur-offrira-linternet-mobile-gratuit

Today at noon we will send out an email with more information to everyone who requested to stay informed on http://mobilevikings.com. Stay tuned over the next days, we’re in for a hell of a ride.

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City Live featured on Techncrunch

It is fun to be cool. A few weeks ago I pitched at the Techcrunch Belgian meetup. Having told the story about Gloweme already a dozen times, I decided it was now time to unveil our MVNO plans.

techcrunch-logo-2701

Mike Butcher was quite enthusiastic about it, although he got a few details wrong (gloweme.com is not the home of our new MVNO, the name is still a well kept secret). But we’re more then happy with the article he wrote on Techcrunch.

Anyway, if you want to learn more, monitor this blog. ON Decmber 6th  we’ll publish the website.

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Last Monday the Belgian mobile internet professionals gathered for Mobile Monday Brussels. The meeting proved that the industry is really getting started.

3038845843_183819edfa_o(picture by Simon Schoeters)

It was in the wonderful new office of IBBT in Brussels that more than 50 people gathered to listen to the talks of Pieter Ballon (IBBT) and Fabian Tilmant (Cleverwoods). Tanguy De Lestré made sure everyone was happy. He also gave an overview of the status of other Mobile Monday chapters in the world.
On to the next one, maybe City Live can present their new MVNO venture with free mobile internet as a topic!

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City Live has preached it for more then a year now: If you want to unleash the mobile internet, you need to focus on the average consumer. The operator 3 in the UK has done just that.

Although the iPhone, Android, Windows mobile and Blackberry are top notch mobile internet devices, for many consumers they are just too expensive for a phone. If mobile internet wants to penetrate into the mainstream, it needs to be available on cheaper phones.

After the success of the Skype phone last year, 3 introduced the Facebook phone: 94 € buys you a nice slider phone with perfect Facebook integration. You are “always on”, with messages being pushed to you in realtime. Furthermore, your contacts are automatically updated with the facebook profile pictures of your friends and all status messages come together with your Gmail and Hotmail messages in one single inbox.

We’ll give the people of Hutchison (makers of the phone) a call and see if we can distribute it in Belgium!

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The free Belgian newspaper Metro has introduced its own mobile product: ME by Metro.

For 10 euro per month, subscribers can monthly

  • call for 60 minutes to Belgian numbers or
  • send 120 text messages to all Belgian networks or
  • send 120 MMS messages to all ME and Base numbers and
  • use a 10mb data package that allows users to go on mobile internet

Customers can combine those options the way they want. Metro has chosen the Belgian BASE network for its mobile product. It’s the most modern network and it has an excellent coverage, says the free newspaper.

At City Live, we are especially thrilled with the 10mb internet offer. It introduces subscribers to mobile internet and therefore helps to bring it into the mainstream market.

Metro has introduced the ‘Are You Me’ action to put its newest product in the picture. People visiting the website are challenged to find their lookalike. They are asked to upload a picture, find someone they are really similiar to, and then others can vote for the best lookalikes. The winners get a ME package.


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There was a time that only large companies made the effort to set up their own website. It took the internet about 5 years before the local merchants jumped on the bandwagon. The mobile industry again proves to be faster.
Today Unizo, the official Belgian interest group of self-employed people and small or medium-sized enterprises, published an article about Mobile Marketing in their magazine “ZOMagazine”.

Mobile Marketing article

Mobile Marketing article

The article discusses how local merchants can use mobile marketing to their benefit. Our colleagues from Mobileweb are cited for their market lead in SMS solutions. The article also explains that you can go further than SMS and opt for an MMS or mobile internet solution. Unizo did their homework well. They even analysed the Belgian situation and concluded that due to the lack of subsidized handsets there is still less mobile internet penetration than in our neighbouring countries.

A nice view on technology from an organisation whose main goal is to represent plumbers, butchers and shopkeepers!

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In these uncertain times, economists have to find another past time than gambling on the stock exchange. On Tuesday, about 80 economists gathered for the “Ekonomika Alumni” event. City Live made sure they could interact with each other, you guessed it right: on their mobile.

typing away on the mobile phone

typing away on the mobile phone

(more…)

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