Israeli company pioneers technology for cellphone ads

Mobixell ensures that video streamed to cellphones does not bog down the network.Mobixell may be Israel’s biggest little secret in the country’s mobile-phone industry, a pioneer in the relatively new cellphone advertising industry. The company recently celebrated the occasion of …

Mobixell ensures that video streamed to cellphones does not bog down the network.Mobixell may be Israel’s biggest little secret in the country’s mobile-phone industry, a pioneer in the relatively new cellphone advertising industry. The company recently celebrated the occasion of its 500 millionth user of the technology it supplies to 300 cellphone service providers/mobile operators worldwide. For a company barely eight years old, that’s a lot of users – and it goes to show how important Mobixell’s products are to advertisers in the world of cellphones.

Mobixell enables quick, efficient, and unobtrusive delivery of video content to cellphones – the exact thing that advertisers are interested in. And the company’s main effort, says CEO Amir Aharoni, is to ensure that video streamed to cellphones does not bog down the network, and that the user experience is the best possible for everyone, regardless of which device they are using. Mobixell’s technology can deliver the video goods on any device, he says, including those using low-bandwidth GPRS networks.

Such optimization is essential for customers, according to a recent study conducted by Mobixell; if the network is down for even a couple of minutes, they will get frustrated and quit using the service. As a result, Mobixell’s technology is especially valued among cellphone service providers who are trying to encourage advertisers to support services for consumers.

Running smoothly

With Mobixell, service providers can be sure that the video, MMS, audio or multimedia files they send out to users look and act the same regardless of device, and that they are delivered with as little impact on the network as possible, to ensure that things keep running smoothly.

Lest you think that ad-watching on a cellphone is a minor issue, you are way behind the times, Aharoni says, adding: “The cellphone is quickly becoming the main communication device for users to speak to friends and colleagues, listen to music and watch video.”

The iPhone is the prime example of this development. And with the success of the Apple device, a whole slew of iPhone wannabes is in the pipeline, as other manufacturers seek to grab a piece of the “converged device” market.

And as more services become available, Aharoni says, there will be increased pressure from customers to get more services, without paying more money.

“Watching downloaded TV programs and video on cellphones and similar devices is already a reality, and it’s just a matter of time before streaming video is available for most users,” he says. “Such services cost money, but consumers are too used to the advertiser-supported model to pay for services.”

And while customers may display patience while programs stream to their devices – at least to some extent, they will show no such consideration for ads, which are paying for their viewing experience.

Getting the message through

The standardization of the user experience is important to advertisers as well, to ensure that their ads are as effective as they expect them to be. For advertisers to be willing to pay for their advertising services, they need to be assured that their message will get through, regardless of the medium.

So, besides engineering groundbreaking compression techniques that will allow streaming of superior quality video, Mobixell is working with service providers and advertisers through the Mobile Marketing Association, whose 650 members, consisting of ad agencies, advertisers, handheld-device manufacturers, carriers and operators, retailers, software providers and service providers are all working on those standards.

Anticipating strong growth in the still fledgling mobile-ad industry, Mobixell recently successfully closed a $6 million round of funding, it’s fourth. So far, the Ra’anana-based company has raised $29m.

Aharoni says Mobixell is ahead of the curve and will be at the side of its customers as cellphone advertising takes off.

“From our close cooperation with our customers, we understood their need for an efficient way to optimize their current multimedia offerings, which can also grow to meet their future needs,” he says “We will continue to work hand in hand with our customers to ensure their ability to provide superior mobile multimedia experience.”

Printed by courtesy of The Jerusalem Post.