Monthly Archives: November 2009

You can still get involved…

Hello everyone

Helen here from the Mobile Heroes team…

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s less than two weeks to go until Heroes of the Mobile Screen … and there’s still new stuff to announce…

So, first up – lovely sponsors who are helping to make all this happen for us. We can now confirm that Blackberry is a gold sponsor and Windows Live and Windows Phone are silver sponsors. WINplc is event sponsor. Smaato is sponsoring the lanyards, Kemp Little LLP is supporting the event and we’ll have a few more to announce this week. And not only that, Blackberry has given us a bunch of Mobile World Congress passes to give away to delegates coming to the conference. Keep an eye on the Heroes twitter feed and blog to find out how to get your mitts on those lovely free passes.

Secondly, we have lots of lovely new speakers announced including Hugo Barra from Google, Oded Ran from Microsoft, George Nimeh from Iris, Phil Cox from Silicon Valley Bank, Giles Rhys Jones from Ogilvy, Mark Watts Jones from Orange and still more to be confirmed. Read all about them over at

Thirdly. You can still get involved. Well, of course you can buy a ticket (everyone who buys a ticket really makes our day and lots of lovely people have already bought tickets!). But there’s also a way you can score a free one… We’re still looking for companies who are targeting teens (age 17/18) with their mobile product, service, game, application or device and who want to get some constructive feedback from their teenage audience. Don’t worry, it’s not scary. julia shalet bw lgeJulia Shalet (pictured) is running this session and she knows what she’s doing and has briefed the teenagers thoroughly. And she’ll also brief the companies we choose thoroughly too so it becomes a useful experience for everyone involved. Anyway, we’ve had some people apply already, but we want to remind you that there’s still time to apply and we really do want to see what you’re made of. If you’re interested, please email me ( helen [at] mobileheroes [dot] net ) or Dominic ( dominic [at] mobileheroes [dot] net ) to express your interest or to find out more about what’s involved.

And finally, there are still some sponsorship opportunities to support the networking party afterwards. If you want to get involved in that, then please talk to me – ( helen [at] mobileheroes [dot] net ).

*Also a big thanks to our media and association partners for their support. Mobile Marketing Association, AIME, Mobile Data Association, IPC Media, Mobile Entertainment Magazine, Mobile Europe, Mobhappy, Mobile Zeitgeist, GoMoNews, Mobile Industry Review, The Really Mobile Project and many many more*

Don’t forget to spread the word as well to your clients and colleagues. This isn’t just for mobile industry insiders.

See you all on the 7th!


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Supporting the World Film Collective

Tue 24 Nov 2009

We are very happy to announce that the World Film Collective is supporting our event. They are helping us to produce some rolling video featuring some of their films to make the most of the BFI venue facilities during the breaks. Here’s the low down on the project, something we are hugely excited to share with you…

Doing good with mobiles…

World Film Collective (WFC) teaches simple and sustainable filmmaking to disadvantaged young people around the world, giving them the freedom to represent themselves to a global audience, and the knowledge and skills to do so.

Using mobile phones, WFC teaches young people in Brazil, Palestine, South Africa and the UK how to make short films during a series of workshops. Each workshop lasts for 50 hours during which time participants learn the filmmaking process from beginning to end.

Each film they produce is shot entirely on a mobile phone and edited using free-editing software.

WFC partners with local organisations to help deliver the workshops. Local film and drama professionals are trained by WFC and employed to teach the workshop. Participants are encouraged to make films on a subject matter that is relevant to them and the results so far have been engaging and expressive films from fictional shorts to documentaries.

WFC work so far

In just 18months, WFC has delivered 13 workshops across four continents. This has included working in the favelas of Rio, refugee camps in Palestine, townships in South Africa, an orphanage in Russia and young people at risk of exclusion from school in the UK.

As a result of WFC workshops, one student has been offered an internship with a production company in Johannesburg; a student has taken up placement with a film company in Cape Town; students from East London have received an NVQ Level 1 in Media & Visual Arts; and three participants were commissioned to make a film which was screened at the MobileActive conference in Johannesburg.

Film Distribution

By giving participants the skills to make short films, WFC is helping to harness the potential of the internet and mobile phones for film education, cultural exchange and creative interaction.

WFC is building its social-networking presence and intends to create its own internet-sharing platform to continue the dissemination of the films produced by workshop participants. The WFC website currently features films produced by our participants of which the following three films are highly recommended.

South Africa: Trains

Shot on a Nokia 6010 camera phone, this is a documentary about the issues of public transport in South Africa….

Palestine: Leila’s Story

Shot on a Nokia 3120 camera phone, this is a fictional story about the challenges of falling in love in the Palestinian society, an issue that workshop participants wanted to share…

Brazil: Interviews in the favela

Shot on a Nokia 6010 camera phone, this documentary focuses on the key members of the Morros dos Prazeres favela in Rio and their thoughts on the future of youth in society…

How you can help

WFC would like to continue to generate sustainable work in its programme countries and to do so will need access to mobile phones. The phones WFC uses have a minimum of 2 mega-pixel cameras or above to ensure the highest quality of film.

If you would like to contact WFC to get involved, please visit or email for further information. You can also follow the latest progress of workshops on twitter, facebook, myspace, youtube and zoopy to hear about the outcomes of WFC’s current workshops in City of God (Brazil), Nablus (Palestine) and East London (UK).

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Mobile World Congress 2010 tickets from BlackBerry

Mon 23 Nov 2009

A very special offer from our Gold Sponsor, BlackBerry

Here in the Heroes office we are completely over the moon with BlackBerry. They have given us a healthy allocation of full tickets to Mobile World Congress 2010 to give away to attendees of Heroes of the Mobile Screen. RIM is partnering with the GSMA on App Planet next February as part of Mobile World Congress. This “event within an event” will include…

* Application developer conferences focused specifically on the most influential mobile platforms in the market
* An interactive apps exhibition that will allow attendees to preview the newest and most innovative apps technology
* The App Lounge, where networking and business development will help to further define the future of this exciting mobile segment
* Dedicated, day-long track of thought-provoking panels and keynotes on industry trends in mobile applications
* The App Garage, showcasing cutting-edge GSMA initiatives in the mobile applications space

RIM are getting serious about delivering the platform features and tools that developers want to make outstanding applications and services for the BlackBerry. Recently announced, at their San Francisco Developer Conference, BlackBerry have lots of updates to the platform.

The user interface has new today screen animations and transitions allowing a whole new set of rich themes to be made. There are a host of great functional improvements to the platform as well. There is now a location push facility, allowing social apps to understand proximity and securely notify people you are near. There are also improvements to help developers monetise all their hard work, with new in app advertising mechanisms. Added to this, is the significant advantage of increased carrier leverage, meaning that BlackBerry have negotiated a new raft of deals with Mobile Network Operators for in app payments and carrier billing.

Also coming early next year are the BlackBerry 3D graphics engine as demonstrated on the Storm 2 with EA Games Need for Speed. And finally, BlackBerry Browser 5.0 will be available soon, bringing the power of the webkit rendering engine and support for Flash to the platform. I think you’ll agree that RIM are making competitive strides and ensuring developers have all the tools they need make great apps for the ever growing legions of BlackBerry users.

If you have purchased your ticket already, you are automatically included in the draw. If you purchase a ticket before midnight on Sunday 29th November you will have a guaranteed, better than 1 in 10 chance of winning a ticket to Mobile World Congress next February. These tickets are worth €600.00 each!

Thanks BlackBerry.

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All you can eat buffet*

Wed 11 Nov 2009

Guest blog post by Terence Eden

*One plate only, limit of half a sausage per person, no refills, persons weighing over 75Kg will have to pay a supplement, does not include ice-cream.

Doesn’t really seem fair, does it? The Internet industry loves to abuse the word “Unlimited” – the mobile industry is particularly bad.

Despite complaints from the public, the Advertising Standards Authority recently ruled that“unlimited means limited”).

We noted that that information showed only a very small proportion of customers on the unlimited data package had exceeded the fair usage data limit of 250 MB per month. We considered that the vast majority of customers were unaffected by the data limit, and we therefore concluded that the fair usage policy did not contradict the claim “includes unlimited data”.

Orange have recently faced the wrath of dictionary lovers everywhere by offering limits on their “unlimited” service). Not only is it confusing, Orange are turning off potential customers.

Unlimited Has Two Meanings

To most of us, there are two ways we look at the word “Unlimited”

1. Without physical limit. Something will never end.

2. Without practical limit. Most people will never get to the end

How high does a practical limit have to before it can be considered a physical limit? If your download speed is 8Mbps, and you have 2,592,000 seconds in a month, you could download around 2.5TB. So, is a limit that large justified as “unlimited”?

I’m a heavy data user. I’m never off Twitter, I regularly upload images to Flickr, I stream video to Qik – I’m a data fanatic. Yet, most months, I struggle to get close to the 500MB “unlimited” barrier that my price plan offers. Short of watching YouTube all day, I’m not sure how I could get to that limit.

Arms Race

Advertising is lying, let’s make that clear. It’s about stretching the truth as far as you legally can.
“UNLIMITED WEEKEND CALLS!” screams one advert. What can their rival do? “2880 MINUTES OF WEEKEND CALLS” it means the same thing, but looks considerably worse.

What if they offer “1000 MINUTES OF WEEKEND CALLS”? That’s over 16 hours of talk time. Are you ever likely to get even close to that? No, probably not. But your brain will say “Hmmmm…. but I might. Better to go with unlimited just to be on the safe side.”

Humans dislike limits. We don’t want people telling us to stop. Even if we’ll never reach the limit, we don’t want to worry about it. A buffet restaurant could say “No more than 6 trips to the buffet” – a limit that is probably excessive for most people – yet its next door rival will say “Unlimited trips” and get all the business.

How Much Is A Megabyte?

Try to visualise a Megabyte. What does it look like to you? How many Megabytes have you used today?

I’m a geek and I couldn’t tell you how many MB I’ve used today. I could make a rough guess – but I’d probably be wrong. For most people, counting MB is an impossible task. They haven’t the faintest idea of how big an image is, whether it’s larger than the email they sent or smaller than the last web page they viewed.

So, what can an Internet provider do?

• Charge per MB and hope that people understand how much they’ll be paying every month?
• Charge per minute. People understand minutes. Let’s call it €1 for 1 hour’s surfing.
• Charge per session. Every time you connect to the net – no matter for how long or short – we’ll call it €0.50
• Charge per content. Pages on the BBC are free, pages on CNN will cost you €0.01 per page.

All of these charging schemes are in use throughout the world. All of them cause confusion. All of them cause bill-shock. All of them annoy customers and prevent the uptake of mobile internet services.

The Practical Approach

So, we have customer confusion and an escalation of advertising terms. What can a mobile Internet company do? The answer is “Take the practical limit”.
Here’s a graph I made up – if anyone can point me to some hard data from ISPs, I’d be grateful.

Spoof mobile data usage graph

Nonsense, but you get the idea.

Here, 99% of customers use 500MB or less. In fact, the vast majority use 200MB or less. So, what should the practical limit be set at? Less than 1% will ever hit the limit, so they’re the only ones who’ll be pissed off about unlimited technically being limited.

And, that’s what most ISPs do. Set the limit well above the needs of the majority of their customers. There’s still a limit, but hardly anyone gets near it.

What Can Be Done

Network resources are finite. You can’t offer infinite consumption of finite resources.
Customers don’t understand Megabytes, sessions, PDP contexts – nor should the have to.
Here are some solutions to the problem – but I’d be interested in hearing how other people think it could be solved.

• The ASA should clamp down on the use of the word “Unlimited” – make providers explicitly spell out what they are providing.

• Mobile Internet providers should send users a daily / weekly notice telling them how much they’ve used and how much it has cost them or how much of their bundle they’ve got left. e.g. “Today you used 20MB of data. You have 480MB left until 01/01/2009”

• Limits should alter month-by-month as more people use more data services. The limit this month might be enough to satisfy 99% of customers, but if next month it’s only 95% then the limit needs to change.


I work for a mobile telecoms company which uses the word “unlimited”. The views in this blog do not represent those of my employers. I’ve not based any of the figures in this post on confidential information.

Terence Eden is a regular blogger on all things mobile and more, here.
Follow Terence on twitter: @edent

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Media and Blog Partners

Sun 25 Oct 2009

We’re thrilled to have so much support from mainstream and industry journalists and bloggers. They’re helping us promote the event and will also be covering it on the day. Some of our media and blog partners are also helping us create interesting content and discussions in the run up to the event too and will be involving sponsors, speakers, panellists and organizers in that coverage.


So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to some of our media and blog friends.

IPC Media Logo IPC Media is a leading UK consumer magazine publisher. Almost two in every three UK women and over 44% of UK men read an IPC magazine. That’s almost 26 million UK adults. IPC’s diverse print and digital portfolio offers something for everyone and is at the heart of the UK’s cultural life.

Mobile Entertainment Magazine logo Mobile Entertainment reports the latest news, views and analysis from the fast-moving mobile content industry, across a unique combination of print, online, email, mobile and specialist industry events. Total monthly audience across print, online, digital and mobile tops 73,000.

Mobile Marketing Magazine logo Mobile Marketing Magazine is the online magazine dedicated to mobile marketing. Written by marketing and technology journalist, David Murphy, the site is designed as a one-stop shop for information about mobile marketing, including news, views, campaigns, case studies and advice.

MSearchgroove logo MSearchGroove (MSG) is a premiere knowledge portal providing analysis and commentary on mobile search, mobile advertising, social media and all things digital at the intersection of content and context. Through primary research and interviews with C-level executives and industry luminaries, MSG is the essential read for companies seeking ways to monetize their digital assets, drive mobile advertising revenues and connect with empowered consumers.

The Really Mobile Project logo The Really Mobile Project is a mobile-focused online video show and website, brought to you by Ben Smith, Dan Lane, James Whatley and Vikki Chowney with regular guest contributors. Featuring a mixture of written and video-based features, including interviews with key industry figures and event coverage, the project aims to provide analysis and opinion for mobile-centric professionals and enthusiasts.

Mobile Industry Review logo Mobile Industry Review is an online and email service providing news and opinion from the mobile and wireless industries to over 250,000 mobile industry executives and fanatics around the world.

Mobile Developer TV logo Mobile Developer TV Interviewing the industry’s brightest and best mobile developers, pundits and entrepreneurs, Ewan MacLeod showcases the latest developments, technologies and services in our mobile world in his weekly video show.

All About Symbian logo All about Symbian is the world’s biggest community site and portal for smartphones running the Symbian OS, with over 1.5 million visitors each month. It provides an independent source of news, reviews, feature articles, a forum and much more to the Symbian ecosystem brought to you by Rafe Blandford, Steve Litchfield, Ewan Spence and Tzer2.

160 Characters Organisation logo 160 Characters was set up by Mike Grenville in 2001 and has been tracking the mobile messaging industry ever since – be that SMS, email, MMS, MIM, voice, video and what can be done with them. Activities include a mobile messaging industry news web site, free email newsletter, seminars and the annual Mobile Messaging Awards.

Mobile Zeitgeist logo Mobile Zeitgeist is the leading online magazine on mobile business in German-speaking countries edited by Heike Scholz covering trends, applications and ideas in the mobile industry.

Mob Happy logo Mobhappy is a collaborative effort of Russell Buckley, leading practitioner, speaker and commentator on mobile marketing, and Carlo Longino, an experienced writer, analyst and consultant who has been working in the mobile industry for ten years. Sitting on opposite sides of the Atlantic, Russell and Carlo bring a unique perspective to their analysis of the mobile telecoms industry on their blog.

M Trends logo M-Trends is Rudy de Waele’s blog about mobile media lifestyle, trends, ideas and opinions on anything mobile. Rudy is co-founder of dotopen and founder of Mobile Monday Barcelona and Mobile Monday Madrid and the Global Peer Awards held in Barcelona every year during Mobile World Congress.

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Introducing Peggy Anne Salz

Tue 27 Oct 2009

Introducing Peggy Anne Salz

Peggy Anne Salz image

We’re thrilled to introduce you to our new regular columnist, Peggy Anne Salz. A Fulbright Fellow, Peggy Anne is the founder and publisher of MSearchGroove (MSG), an online source of analysis and commentary on mobile search, mobile advertising, social media and all things digital at the intersection of content and context. Her report, Mobile Search & Content Discovery—the first of its kind—has established Peggy as an authority on mobile search and content discovery technologies enabling media companies and mobile operators to monetize content and services. She also knows a thing or two about mobile marketing, advertising, content and media.

Peggy Anne is going to be keeping us up to date with what’s happening in our mobile media world as well as sparking debate about the issues impacting the mobile and related industries – the same ones that we’ll be discussing on 7th December.

So, as we introduce you to our speakers, topics and sponsors, Peggy Anne will be covering it all here and at MSearchGroove.

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Thanks and praise for the Heroes of the web site

Fri 06 Nov 2009

We very much hope that visitors to this web site are enjoying the experience, whether you are using a full size browser or peering through the lens of a mobile screen. The aim has been to deliver a design that works well on both.

The look and feel of the site is thanks to the immense design abilities of the Ribot design studio. The fact that we sat down for two hours on a Wednesday afternoon to workshop the ideas, and they delivered the finished visual styles to a late Sunday deadline, speaks volumes about their commitment to clients. Working closely with Anthony, Tara & Jerome has been an absolute pleasure.

Sign up to be one of the first to use the beautifully designed Little Spender

Ribot is a multi-award-winning ideas lab focusing on mobile user interfaces. Working together with the likes of Orange,, Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft and others, they are helping to shape the future of mobile user experiences. They invite you to pop down to the seaside in Brighton to have a French pastry and iced-spiced mocha with the team.

Pretty pictures do not a web site make. So following the timely delivery of the design, we were very fortunate to have a seasoned developer volunteer to begin the slice and dice coding of the site first thing on a Monday morning. We cannot thank FJ van Wingerde enough for putting days of his time in to the project for just a little praise and a ticket to the event.

FJ has 15 years of experience in solving problems in User Interface design. He has worked for Harvard Medical School, Nokia, Disney, and Vodafone. Most recently he has been instrumental in building the latest iteration of Betavine.
Check out his blog at TechSocioTech. He is currently freelancing and would love to hear about interesting work opportunities. Follow him on twitter: @fj

With an event like this, we need a dynamic and fast web site. Our choice of back end is the elegant and powerful Node content management system. Built by developer Guy Bolton-King on the framework designed by Alex Fiennes, this system generates rigorously standards compliant web sites with full accessibility, which just happens to make them work rather well on modern smartphones. An outstanding example of Node at work is the Granta magazine and publishing site. Contact details and more examples of their work are here.

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