Airwide Solutions, the leading provider of next-generation mobile messaging infrastructure and applications, today announced that the company has acquired First Hop of Espoo, Finland. First Hop is a pioneer in mobile service control and gateway technologies that enable operators to move at the speed of the market by rapidly implementing new mobile services, business models and targeted content and campaigns.
With more than 120 mobile operators served by the combined company, Airwide further establishes itself as a dominant player in the next-generation mobile messaging industry and firmly secures the number one position in the market for mobile service control and messaging gateways.
By acquiring First Hop, Airwide extends the flexibility of its tiered architecture for operators by adding the industry's most advanced multi-channel gateway as another step in enabling operators to add ‘best-of-breed,' open components to their networks. Airwide will also incorporate First Hop's powerful mobile service control capabilities into the next-generation Fusion architecture, expanding it beyond messaging with solutions for wireless internet browsing. First Hop's products, technology and team will be an integral part of Airwide's mission to provide the most advanced and effective solutions for driving mobile messaging usage and revenues and enabling operators to leverage multiple delivery channels and next-generation infrastructure in new and more powerful ways. Together, the companies are uniquely positioned to address the emerging industry requirements for Mobile Messaging 2.0, which emphasizes open, interoperable systems and is guiding the evolution of the mobile messaging industry.
By adding mobile service control -- which enables functionality like context, personalization and profiling -- to its industry-leading Fusion tiered architecture, Airwide will enable operators to rapidly launch more services and to build a dynamic and broad service offering that will drive subscriber messaging usage and ultimately revenues. Also, by expanding further into additional delivery channels like the HTTP and WAP based mobile internet, Airwide creates a foundation for bridging internet services and mobile networks that will let operators future proof their business models and revenue streams and create new and unique mobile services.
"The mobile messaging industry is poised for great change, and Airwide today is making a solid statement that we are going to be the company that drives the next stage of the market," said Kevin A. Wood, CEO of Airwide. "Operators continue to struggle with driving new revenue from mobile messaging services, and they are grappling with how to develop new business models such as ad-sponsored services. Combining First Hop's service control strengths and multi-channel delivery strategy with Airwide's next generation mobile messaging infrastructure we address these issues head-on, and our expanded vision will help us to meet operator needs now and in the future."
"Airwide and First Hop together are a real-world example of the sum being greater than the parts. By combining First Hop's strengths in service lifecycle management, context, profiling and personalization with Airwide's next generation mobile messaging infrastructure we are taking the market to an entirely new level," said Timo Laaksonen, CEO of First Hop. "We are confident that our integrated product lines will yield the industry's best performance, flexibility and functionality. With our combined resources we are better equipped to accelerate our R&D programs, enhance our worldwide service delivery capability and manage our commercial customer and partner relationships. In short, we are now ideally positioned for further business growth."
First Hop's service lifecycle management covers the end-to-end process of service provisioning, testing, launch, delivery, charging, and reporting through all mobile delivery channels. Operators can drive up service value and user experience through usage data analysis, subscription and campaign tools, and the capability of combining multiple network resources - like location, billing, and device profile - innovatively to rapidly launch new service concepts, context-aware services, or personalized bundles. Coupled with Airwide's Fusion architecture, customers will benefit from a range of solutions that will let them take advantage of value-added services like ad insertion, personalization, campaign management and promotion.
Fit with industry-leading Fusion architecture
Airwide's Fusion tiered architecture breaks traditional monolithic messaging infrastructures into tiers, including: storage, access and delivery, control, and application tiers, and uses independently scalable components to support multiple messaging and delivery types. With the acquisition of First Hop, Airwide now has a distinctly market leading, best-of-breed product at each tier. Additionally, the deal with First Hop significantly advances and expands Airwide's implementation of Fusion by bringing key session-based service capabilities to the architecture and by extending the scope to include internet services, content downloads and browsing.
Also, since Fusion is designed to allow cost-effective infrastructure scaling and the rapid deployment of revenue-generating applications, the addition of First Hop's service lifecycle management complements and extends it with a range of products to further address service creation along with traffic, third party and business management.
Unlocking the potential for mobile marketing and advertising
Demand for mobile marketing is skyrocketing, and through this acquisition Airwide is uniquely positioned to address this market need. Airwide can now enable multichannel ad-insertion with a modular service delivery platform that allows operators to create sponsored person-to-person and application-to-person messaging, to run targeted SMS, MMS and WAP Push and browsing campaigns to distribute personalized banner advertising.
Airwide also tackles the infrastructure-related inhibitors to mobile marketing by dramatically enhancing the reliability, performance and scalability of the infrastructure and providing a suite of solutions that broker the all-important context and profile information into advertising, improve the quality of interaction with the consumer and measure overall campaign effectiveness. Airwide also provides critical tools for protecting subscribers from SPAM and giving consumers the controls to ensure they only receive wanted information from trusted sources. Together, Airwide and First Hop have solutions for both the infrastructure concerns and the process issues that are keeping mobile marketing from reaching its full potential.