Icomera, a global provider of cellular broadband gateways, has launched a new service that brings advertising to mobile Wi-Fi hotspots on trains and buses, and enables hotspot operators to generate revenues by offering targeted messaging to their customers.
MoovManage Ads, an optional component of Icomera's MoovManage web-based hotspot management service, is said to allow operators to create and manage advertising campaigns and track their success. Advertisements are presented to hotspot users during their online session. It is estimated that hotspot usage increased in 2009 by 47%, bringing total worldwide connections to 1.2 billion. MoovManage Ads provides a path for hotspot operators to increase usage by switching from paid to free Wi-Fi services, while retaining a way to generate income via targeted advertising.
"Transport operators want to attract more people to use train and bus services, and offering free Wi-Fi during a journey is compelling proposition," said Dave Palmer, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Icomera. "Without revenue from paying users, operators are seeking alternative ways of underwriting the cost of deploying Wi-Fi on-board, which is a more expensive process than installing free Internet in a coffee shop. MoovManage Ads provides a highly effective way of introducing advertising to the hotspot, whether offering discounts on season tickets or messages from third party sponsors."
MoovManage Ads works in conjunction with Icomera's family of award-winning rugged cellular gateways. On passenger vehicles, the Moovbox M200 Mobile Broadband Gateway acts as a bridge to the Internet using multiple high-speed cellular 3G and 4G broadband connections that deliver on-board Wi-Fi for passengers, and connectivity for on-board systems. In addition to providing advertising within the hotspot experience, the MoovManage system enables the transport operator to monitor and remotely configure multiple Moovbox devices across its fleet, while keeping track of vehicles using in-built GPS functionality.
"We're really excited about the new MoovManage Ads feature," said Rob Taylo, CEO of SinglePoint Communications in Portland, OR, and a key distributor for Moovbox products in North America. "Now our customers can promote their own brand and associated services, or work with local and national advertisers to create marketing campaigns for their specific user demographic. The revenue opportunity from advertising is exactly what transport operators have been looking for as a way to justify the roll-out cost and achieve a tangible ROI."
With the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled portable devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry and netbooks, free on-board Wi-Fi is rapidly becoming expected by rail, bus and coach passengers, especially on commuter routes and inter-city transport services. Many of the world's largest transport operators have deployed Icomera Internet systems on key routes favoured by commuters, students and international travelers, serving over 100,000 Internet connections every week, says Icomera.