Google Tests NFC for In-Store Payments

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Written on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Very interesting piece on Mashable, reporting on a story that apparently has Google testing out NFC-enabled payment options at the counter, so that store customers would pay for their purchases at the cash register using their mobile phones.
Unnamed sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg that Google’s payment method will be tested at thousands of stores in San Francisco and New York within four months.
The checkout option, these sources told Bloomberg, will work with near field communication (NFC)-enabled phones. NFC allows a device, usually a mobile phone, to collect data from another device or NFC tag at close range. In many ways, it’s like a contactless payment card that is integrated into a phone (in fact, contactless payment cards use the same technology).
With Google’s reported system, customers would touch their phones to a tag in order to check out at special cash registers that the sources said Google will buy for test stores.
While most phones have yet to be equipped with NFC technology, its journey to the mainstream has started. Samsung’s Nexus S, the first NFC-enabled Android phone, went on sale December 16, 2010. Nokia has announced that all of its smartphones in 2011 will support NFC, and Apple recently hired a NFC expert (although it debunked rumors that the iPhone 5 would incorporate NFC earlier Tuesday). Turning the technology into a mobile payment vehicle is high on the list of NFC proponents’ priorities.
In February, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told The New York Times that the company would work to extend offers to advertisers using NFC chips. The service he had in mind at that point would provide ads and offers for items at the point of sale.
Google declined to comment on this article.


Browser comparison: Android 2.3 vs. iPhone 4.3 (The Full Story)

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Written on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Interesting study from Blaze, (an independent 3rd party they claim) whose study found the Chrome version running on Android 2.3 loaded Web pages 52% faster than iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3, according to thousands of independent field tests.

Here's more from the article (then read below to find out why Apple challenged these results): 
The Web page load times were about a second apart for the two devices in a study that amassed 45,000 load tests in all. For Android 2.3 on the Google Nexus S smartphone using a version of Chrome, the median load time was 2.144 seconds, compared to 3.254 seconds for iPhone 4 on iOS 4.3 running a version of Safari, according to the study.
Blaze used Fortune 1,000 Web sites for the tests, running the Web page loading tests repeatedly over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connections with nothing else running on the phones at the time. The Android phone was faster than the iPhone in loading 84% of the tested Web sites. "Android wasn't just faster overall, but rather provided a faster browsing experience four times out of five," the study said.
Blaze sought to describe its tests as objective, adding it has no association with Google or Apple "in any form," David Horne, marketing programs manager for Ottawa, Ont.-based Blaze, said in an e-mail. Blaze writes software to automatically accelerate Web site speeds and created a mobile testing tool used in the Android-iPhone study to be able to analyze mobile Web performance and to "discover new optimization to add to our core product," Horne explained.
While Android came out ahead in the load time comparison, the study noted that both are "generally fast." However, the study also noted that "browser speed is a big deal" and had been a prominent point when both Apple and Google recently noted their improved JavaScript engines.
"Browser performance is all the rage, and everybody says theirs is faster," the study added.
The study's authors said they were surprised by the results.
One surprise came because both iPhone and Android had optimized JavaScript engines in their latest versions, but were not much faster than previous versions also tested, Blaze said. "Both Apple and Google tout great performance improvements [with optimized JavaScript] but those seem to be reserved to JavaScript benchmarks and high-complexity apps," the study said. "If you expect pages to show up faster after an upgrade, you'll be sorely disappointed."
Blaze said part of the problem is that the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, a kind of custom test used by Apple and Google, and other benchmark tests "are very different than real-world sites and don't reflect the actual user experience." Blaze said it measured the load time of Web pages, "mimicking the experience users would get when browsing on their smartphones."
Other testing groups have only compared a small set of sites manually, Blaze said.
Additionally, of the 1,000 sites tested, 175 were customized for mobile access. The iPhone improved the time to load a mobile Web site by 39% over other standard Web sites, while Android improved the difference in the two types of sites by 8%. Still, Android loaded both types faster than the iPhone 4.
Most of the testing Blaze conducted was over Wi-Fi in a home using a high-speed router connected to a fast DSL line, but it also conducted some 3G testing (with nearly 6 Mbit/sec download speed over the Bell Mobility HSPA network) with iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2 this time. In that comparison, it found Wi-Fi was faster in 82% of the cases, but only by half a second.
Apple, then came out to challenge the validity of the tests:
Nonsense, said Apple.
"Their testing is flawed. They didn't actually test the Safari browser on the iPhone. Instead they only tested their own proprietary app, which uses an embedded Web viewer that doesn't actually take advantage of Safari's Web performance optimizations," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading Web pages."
...thus leading Blaze to make the following statement:
Blaze backed away from its conclusion in light of the new data. Chief Technology Officer Guy Podjarny told CNET in a statement:

This test leveraged the embedded browser which is the only available option for iPhone applications. Blaze was under the assumption that Apple would apply the same updates to their embedded browser as they would their regular browser. If this is not the case and according to Apple's response, it's certainly possible the embedded browser might produce different results. If Apple decides to apply their optimizations across their embedded browser as well, then we would be more than willing to create a new report with the new performance results. 
Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20044325-264.html#ixzz1HDBmqPlB

There you have it.. the full story... now you can make up your own mind!


Sears Bluetooth Marketing Campaign in Toronto

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Written on Monday, March 14, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Sparking off from this discussion on LinkedIn, I found out about a Bluetooth Marketing Campaign in Canada, Toronto. Bill Brooks, CEO of Powerwave Engagement, was kind enough to share more information about it, including not only the setting, but -more importantly- also some statistics (with an overall acceptance rate 28.7% - pretty remarkable! - which probably means there was proper awareness, etc.)

It was a 'Bluetooth only' promo campaign at the largest Sears store location in Canada at the downtown Toronto Centre.

It was a two day event on Nov 26 and 27.

The Bluetooth units were set up at the entrances and was supported with 'call to action' signage.

A permission message was sent to all Bluetooth enabled phone within a 100 metre range prior to accepting or declining the offer.

Bill also had to point out that Wi-Fi will also be part of the system used in similar campaigns, so as to capture more smart phones.

Here are the statistics from each of the four locations the system was set-up: 


mHealth: 1M Subsriptions to Walgreens' Prescription Text Alerts + Prescription Refills by Mobile App Barcode Scan

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Written on Friday, March 11, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

A recent press release from Walgreens, the U.S. pharmacy chain offering prescriptions, health & wellness products, health information and photo servicesreveals just how successful their mobile marketing attempts have been.

Their prescription text alerts service has seen 1M subscribers since its launch in March 2010, sending notifications to subscribers when the prescription is ready to be picked up.

Additionally, the mobile application (both iPhone and Android) used to allow users to quickly scan the barcode printed on a prescription label to order a refill, which has been available since November 2010, has resulted in half of all refill orders originating from a mobile device being from Refill by Scan.

Here's the full press release:
DEERFIELD, Ill., March 3, 2011 – Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within three miles of a Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG). Now the drugstore chain’s more than 7,600 stores are getting even more convenient with new smart phone enhancements in the hands of many Walgreens customers nationwide. Walgreens newest mobile feature, Refill by Scan, already accounts for more than half of all prescription refills ordered through Walgreens mobile applications – less than four months after becoming available for both iPhone® and Android™ platforms.
Using a smart phone’s camera, Refill by Scan enables users to scan the barcode printed on a prescription label to seamlessly order a refill in seconds. The new, innovative technology was launched on the Walgreens mobile application in 2010 and has been available for both Android™ and iPhone® users since November.
Refill by Scan also gives users the option to change their store pickup location as well as the pickup time and day.

“Our customers have enthusiastically adopted our mobile applications and we’re continuing to bring innovative technology to our online and mobile platforms to enhance the customer experience,” said Sona Chawla, Walgreens President of E-commerce. “With refill by scan, prescription text alerts, unique photo features and the ability to shop or browse products all available on a mobile device, we’re adding new levels of choice, control and convenience for our rapidly-growing numbers of mobile customers.”
Walgreens is highlighting its suite of mobile pharmacy services and the new Refill by Scan technology with a new advertising campaign launched this week.
The Walgreens mobile application has a 4.5-star rating in the iTunes Store and a 4-star rating in the Android™ Market. The application is free and available for download via iTunes and the Android™ Market.
Prescription Text Alert Subscribers Surpass 1 Million
Prescription text alerts, a Walgreens mobile feature which notifies customers via text message when their prescriptions are ready, has surpassed 1 million subscribers. The alerts were introduced in March 2010.
Customers can sign up for prescription text alerts at any Walgreens pharmacy or by visiting www.walgreens.com/textalerts. Prescription text alerts are available through any mobile device that has texting capabilities.
Other features of the Walgreens mobile application include:
Access prescription history
Order photo prints direct from your phone
Find the nearest Walgreens or Take Care Clinic
Browse products and check in-store availability
Shop from your phone
For more information on Walgreens mobile application and services, visit www.walgreens.com/mobile.


Guest Post: Location, Location, Location: AT&T Unveils ShopAlerts, Location-Based Mobile Marketing

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Written on Thursday, March 10, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Today's post is a guest post from Alexis Posharo, a somewhat of an outsider to the mobile marketing world, who presents her view on what mobile marketing is and what it includes. Enjoy..
Smart phones have changed the way we look, think and react to nearly everything online, including marketing and advertisements. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans routinely accesses the Internet through a mobile smart phone each day, a number that will only increase with the rapid availability of 3G networks and smart phone competition, such as Google’s Android phone. As rates and availability become more competitive, so too does the need for fresh and aggressive marketing to attract mobile users’ attention. A few days ago, AT&T unveiled a new service to do just that-- a location-based marketing service that targets users based on their phone’s GPS coordinates. And that could change everything.

ShopAlerts

AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions and Placecast announced on February 28, 2011 their unique marketing strategy, ShopAlerts. By using the internal GPS present on many smart phones, AT&T is able to gain clients’ GPS coordinates and offer special deals and rewards by nearby participating locations. Currently, the service is only offered to AT&T subscribers who reside in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco who have selected to receive the location-based alerts. AT&T is the first network to offer any service of this kind, paving the way for advertisements and marketing to be directed at a person in location-specific real time. The alerts also come with other pertinent information for the mobile user, including weather conditions, traffic times and information on the local shopping centers in and around the user’s area. The mobile deals, coupled with updates on traffic conditions and area information, have the potential to significantly simplify and expand the mobile user’s shopping experience.

Geo-fence

The service operates off of what AT&T refers to as a “geo-fence,” or a specific field of mobile information surrounding a participating store, event or location. When a mobile user crosses the perimeter of this “fence,” he or she is given an alert regarding the participating shop and location. This alert is targeted at smart phone users from the exact stores or events surrounding them, making it an extreme real time, location-based marketing tool. AT&T’s press release gives the names of the initial participating companies who will employ the geo-fence in their mobile marketing strategies: HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "Got Milk?" Campaign are among them.

Tariq Hassan, Vice President of worldwide marketing and communications at HP, enforces the importance of the location-based service: "At HP, we are continuously implementing innovative new marketing platforms that will resonate with our customers' mobile lifestyles. ShopAlerts by AT&T service enables us to deliver relevant, location-based content to our customers."

Other Forms of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing exploded onto the scene with the increased popularity of SMS messaging in the early 2000s. In many parts of the world, SMS marketing remains a viable form of mobile marketing, where companies collect large databases of numbers and send advertisements in the form of a SMS. The Mobile Marketing Association has limited this type of blanket messaging in North America and parts of western Europe; however, in many parts of the world, selling databases of numbers to third parties is still regular practice. The most popular form of marketing is mobile web marketing, where advertisers pay for a slot of space on a website. Thus, when a mobile user loads a site, they also load participating advertisements. However, as web giants such as Google and Yahoo have been employing mobile web marketing for years, the effect on consumers wears off. Mobile users learn to “tune out” the advertisements and focus on the content relevant to their search.

And so enforces the genius of a service like ShopAlerts, where AT&T directly targets users based on their current location. AT&T has shifted mobile marketing from a passive to an active endeavor, evolving the mobile marketing strategy in the process. They’ll actively reap the rewards for doing so.
Alexis Posharo is a stay at home mom, freelance writer and representative for Home Security Systems, where the source for keeping your family safe starts with wireless home security. Her hobbies include playing piano, practicing yoga, and curling up with a good book at the end of a long day.


Google Infographic: Smarter Marketing to Smartphone Users

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Written on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

The more infographics I see (apparently early cave paintings were the first of their kind) the more I like them. It's just such a refreshing change from the traditional pie/bar charts - that do have the remarkable advantage of being understood at first sight. It's probably cause I like change - or so I'd like to think...

Here's the latest infographic I've come across which I think you'll all appreciate as (though, admittedly, I didn't find it on a google website) it comes from Google and contains information on the following mobile-related sectors:
  • Mobile Searches
  • Mobile Behaviour
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Mobile Shopping
  • Smartphone Adoption and Usage
Here it is in all its glory (and with a 3D background as a bonus):


Dunkin' Donuts Location-Based Marketing

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Written on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

A very interesting piece of news from Direct Marketing News that presents the latest mobile marketing campaign employed by Dunkin' Donuts, using the scvngr mobile app ("a game about doing challenges at places" - a great description, by the way).

Coffee chain Dunkin' Donuts is running a location-based mobile marketing campaign in the greater Boston area throughout this month. Consumers who use the Scvngr mobile app to complete challenges can win rewards from Boston professional sports teams, such as discounted merchandise or free T-shirts.
The initiative is part of the coffee company's “Caught Cold” campaign, which rewards Bostonians seen drinking Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee in public with tickets to Boston Bruins or Celtics home games, team gear or special Dunkin' Donuts cards.
...
Challenges include taking a picture of the ice left over from an iced coffee or recording a pep talk to be sent to Boston Bruins players before a game. Consumers can redeem their rewards at the TD Garden Boston Bruins Pro Shop via a “watermark-based secure redemption service built into the game,” said Chris Mahl, SVP and chief brand alchemist at Scvngr.
...
Dunkin' Donuts is marketing the campaign with an e-mail blast to members of the DD Perks rewards club in the Greater Boston area, the company's social media channels and in-store signage, said Smith.


Mobile Advertising Statistics from InMobi for Europe Market

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Written on Monday, March 07, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

I was recently doing some research for choosing a mobile advertising network for a project at work. As part of this research, I came across a couple of very interesting reports from Indian mobile advertising network InMobi, containing very interesting statistics including: 
  • Mobile Advertising market summary,
  • smartphone manufacturer and OS market share,
  • top handsets & connected devices.

Some highlights from the report include: 

Total mobile ad impressions (and this is just in the InMobi network - so this can give you a good idea of the total market size) of 2.7bn in October 2010 - compared to1.45bn in July 2010. 

Europe OS market share, based on mobile ad impressions
Top 5 of mobile manufacturers in the mobile advertising market: 
Apple holds first position as a manufacturer, with 32%, Nokia follows with 20%, Samsung is third at 15%, Sony Ericsson at #4 with 9%, and RIM 5th with 6%.

iPhone is the single most dominant device in the area, representing a 29.4% share of all impressions, with the Google Nexus One a very distant second at 2.5%.

Please feel free to head on over to InMobi for the full EU report, as well as others for the other markets in the world (Australia, ME, Africa, India, APAC, US).

Additionally I found out about their affiliate program which gives you 10% extra credits with every transaction, so I signed up for it in order to give everyone here access to the offer.

I look forward to InMobi releasing the latest figures, as I'm sure that as their impressions grow, we will be seeing an image of the mobile market which is much more representative than the one contained in the previous reports.


Mobile Marketing Statistics, Text Marketing from Miami Dolphins + a Vending Machine offering Location-Based Deals from Foursquare

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Written on Thursday, March 03, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

In the wait for the new Mobile Web Advertising Guidelines by the MMA, here's a couple of interesting stories to keep you waiting. First, a couple of stats, then a press release for the Miami Dolphins' text message marketing campaigns for the coming sports season, and finally a pharmacy vending machine that offers location-based specials through Foursquare.
Mobile augmented reality apps are on a rapid rise, according to the latest report from Juniper Research, which reveals that the increased interest will lead to nearly 1.4 billion worldwide downloads by 2015.
Mobile Marketer reported in February on Juniper’s research that global revenues in the space will reach $1.5 billion by 2015. Paired with the download data, the overall findings suggest that augmented reality is gearing up to have a solid place in the mobile sphere.
“Over the past 12 months the number of handsets that have the [mobile augmented reality] enabling technologies has risen from about 8 million to just over 100 million,” said Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research, Basingstoke, England. “So there’s a significantly bigger potential audience for application developers to aim at.”
The results of this particular study are derived from 2,425 online surveys completed in the United States and United Kingdom between January 25 and January 31, 2011.
The findings show that “smartphone” owners (the fastest-growing mobile segment) are by far the most avid consumers of mobile phone games. “These and other purchase and consumption trends identified in the survey suggest significant growth in the mobile games sector will continue for the foreseeable future,” PopCap Games revealed.
Overall, more than half (52%) of the 2,425 survey respondents said they had played a game on a mobile phone at some time in the past; 73% of U.K. respondents said they had played a mobile phone game at least once, compared to 44% of U.S. residents surveyed.
Next, an interesting press release, reporting on the Miami Dolphins' text marketing plans:
The Miami Dolphins and Txtstation Mobile Marketing have announced an innovative partnership for the upcoming 2011-12 football season designed to help the team foster closer relationships with their fanbase by harnessing the instant interaction that mobile marketing provides. The comprehensive campaign involves a dedicated vanity short code exclusive to the Dolphins, in-stadium graphics and mobile tactics, online interaction and a variety of mobile text clubs for ongoing communication.
"Our fans are incredibly tech savvy and always thirsty for new and unique content. Our partnership with Txtstation will allow us to reach our fans through their most personal device, their cell phones," said Wayne Partello, Senior Director of Content and Creative with the Miami Dolphins. "We're ecstatic that our fans will have the opportunity to engage in a two-way dialogue with us. They can now send us messages in addition to receiving the instant news, offers and videos we have offered in the past." 
Finally, perhaps the most interesting piece of news here is a vending machine connected to Foursquare, in order to present you with location-based offers, when buying non-prescription medicine. The potential for this is huge...
With nine vending machines in three Swedish cities, Green Cross sells a wide variety of non-prescription goods, from aspirin to condoms. Aiming to increase awareness of its offerings, the company just launched what may well be the world’s first Foursquare special for a vending machine. Specifically, when users check into a location on Foursquare that's near a Green Cross machine, they automatically get alerted to any specials that are currently available there.
 Happy reading!


Infographic: The rise of mobile shopping

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Written on Wednesday, March 02, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Infographs are the type of thing, that when done right, can give you so much information at one glance, in a way that will make it stick. However, you see a lot these days that don't really make a very good job out of that. 

Wim Vermeulen's post contains a pretty interesting infographic that contains information retrieved from Scanlife, and Yahoo among others:
Thank you Foresee, Scanlife, Yahoo and Motorola for publishing your research.
Here is the infographic itself (original article). Thanks Wim!  

Pretty interesting stats, aren't they?


Press Release: AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions Launches ShopAlerts by AT&T, a Groundbreaking Location-Based Marketing Service Featuring Special Offers from Leading National Brands

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Written on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 by Giorgos Saslis

Pretty interesting press release - take notice! This is BIG news...


NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions and Placecast today announced an agreement to provide ShopAlerts by AT&T, which are special offers delivered to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The unique location-based mobile messaging service will be available for AT&T* customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco who have opted-in to receive such messages. AT&T is the first U.S. mobile carrier to offer a large-scale, location-based mobile marketing program to consumers and advertisers.
The innovative ShopAlerts by AT&T service will provide consumers with valuable offers, rewards, and coupons based on their specific geographic location. AT&T creates a "geo-fence" – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages.  Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence, benefiting both consumers and marketers.
The messages are enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.  Numerous companies have recognized the value of the ShopAlerts by AT&T service, and the initial presenting sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.
"We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike," said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. "ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale."
"Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer's experience and maintain our value proposition," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. "ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology."
Katie Thompson, associate director of digital media of JetBlue, notes that ShopAlerts is a clear fit for many advertisers, including beyond just those with brick and mortar locations. "We were excited about the opportunity because it takes the onus off of the advertiser to build a large database of opt-in users that the true power of the technology can be harnessed," said Thompson.
Pioneering Location-based Technology and Media
The program combines the location-based technology platform and expertise of San Francisco-based Placecast with AT&T's large subscriber base, outstanding Web and mobile media properties, and strong relationships with national advertisers and media buyers. The initiative marks the first time a major operator in the U.S. is introducing such a program at scale.
"At HP, we are continuously implementing innovative new marketing platforms that will resonate with our customers' mobile lifestyles," said Tariq Hassan, vice president, Worldwide Marketing and Communications, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.  "ShopAlerts by AT&T service enables us to deliver relevant, location-based content to our customers."
"Placecast is excited to work with AT&T to deliver a new generation of opt-in marketing services focused on delivering relevant messages to consumers when they are in a mindset to make a purchase. Retailers and subscribers alike benefit from messages with tailored offers available nearby, based on their trusted relationship with AT&T," says Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast.
Customers in participating markets can visit the customer portal and opt-in at www.att.com/shopalerts.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
About AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions
Formed in late 2008, Advanced Ad Solutions is the group within AT&T Advertising Solutions that sells innovative digital marketing to Fortune 500 advertisers. AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions connects brands with over 100 million connections across mobile, IPTV and targeted online display and search platforms. For more information regarding AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions, please contact 212-709-5804 or visit http://att.com/advancedadvertising.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE®magazine.  Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.  This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATTNews. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.Facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz to discover more about our small business services.
© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

About Placecast
Placecast is the first location-based platform specifically designed to use mobile marketing to drive consumers into physical environments. Comprised of a team of experts in digital marketing, mobile solutions and location technology, Placecast offers ShopAlerts as a white-label service for retailers and operators, and also licenses the Placecast Platform technology for the delivery of other types of location-based services. The ShopAlerts™ geofence marketing service has transformed the mobile industry: brands such as The North Face, L'Oreal, Starbucks and Chicos are all delivering location-based mobile offers to customers near their stores on any mobile phone. Operators like O2 in the UK deploy the company's service and have enrolled subscribers in their location-based marketing program, opening new sources of revenue and reducing churn. The ShopAlerts service received significant recognition in 2010, taking home the prize for innovation given by the National Retail Federation as well as honorable mentions at the Mobile World Congress, Webby's and CTIA. The company is backed by Quatrex Capital, ONSET Ventures and Voyager Capital.