Bouygues Telecom and Jentro in ad-funded navigation deal

Bouygues Telecom and Jentro in ad-funded navigation deal
Mobile navigation provider Jentro Technologies and French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom announced today an agreement to launch Berlitz Mobile, an advertisement-funded navigation and local search solution. Bouygues is the third wireless operator in France with 8.7 million customers. The Berlitz Mobile solution will expand to other European operators in the future, said Jentro.

This navigation solution will be marketed as a Berlitz Mobile branded solution, powered by Jentro, and will provide free turn-by-turn navigation to Bouygues mobile phone subscribers. In addition to free navigation, Berlitz Mobile will also offer local search functionalities and content features such as Berlitz’s Travel Guides (60 cities all around Europe) and Language Guides allowing to translate phrases from French to other languages. These Guides are also sponsored by the advertising and free to the users.

The Berlitz Mobile solution platform will incorporate Jentro’s advertising distribution proxy that will enable dynamic ads appearing on splash screen, waiting screen, turn-by-turn navigation, map screens and destination reached screens.

This solution will also feature Jentro’s Zenlet technology platform. Zenlet are location-aware widgets through which content and functionalities can be added to the core navigation and search solution.

“Bouygues Telecom’s content philosophy is openness”, said Martin Kaiser who is responsible for marketing and commercial deals around these contents at the wireless operator. As a matter of fact Bouygues is already working with two other navigation suppliers: Maporama/Locationet which has already deployed an ad-funded navigation application (read more here) and Webraska which is deploying its subscription-based navigation application towards a “prosumer” target (the Blackberry Bold was launched by “Bouygues Telecom Entreprise” last month with a one year Webraska’s navigation license).

“There is a large demand of our customers for location-based services”, said Kaiser. “When we asked them what they wanted to do with 3G connectivity they said navigation when we were thinking about other multimedia services like TV”.

Additionally, he said: “we don’t believe the subscription model is well adapted to navigation on mobile phones. This kind of application is well suited for a pedestrian use but it will not replace a navigation device in a car”.

For Jentro this is the second advertising-funded navigation solution launched in Europe. The first one was in June 2007 with Das Oertlich, a local search portal owned by Deutsche Telekom . Called ö-navi, this solution is said to have 300,000 users today.

Wednesday, October 8th 2008

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