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Old 28-10-2003, 12:34 AM
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Open Bit launches Superdistribution - viral spread of programs

Open Bit has announced the launch of Superdistribution for Series 60. This is the ability to send programs from your phone to another phone using an option in the programs menu (built into by the author). Additionally the program can then be paid for by premium SMS. This is all facilitated through the Open Bit License Manager.

I saw this concept in operation back at the Symbian Exposium. Its very impressive and certainly represents a very good way to distribute programs to groups of users. It allows for the viral spread of program. Open Bit have already trialed this with their Photographer program and have achieved 10,000 license payments.

Press Release:
Open Bit Sends Mobile Games and Applications from Mobile Phone to Another

Superdistribution possible in nearly 70 operators’ networks

Open Bit Ltd, a mobile software developer, launches a system, which encourages superdistribution of software applications, i.e. copying the applications from one mobile phone to another. Thanks to the new License Manager, the user can send, for example, a game through infrared or Bluetooth connection to another mobile phone.

The receiver can take the application into use by accepting the license fee. The price is indicated clearly on the phone display, and it is invoiced as premium SMS billing. The license fee varies with each application usually between two and thirty euros. Because the application has been sent by someone the user knows, it generally matches the receiver’s expectations and is worth the money. If he wishes, the user can first buy a low-cost 30-day license to test the application and make the purchase decision based on his experiences.

The License Manager has been used in the distribution of Open Bit’s own Photographer application since May. “We made the Photographer available on the Internet, and in four months it has spread through personal networks to users all over the world. We have already received over 100,000 payment messages. The rapid distribution of the application has taken even us by surprise,” says Open Bit’s Managing Director Arto Lehtonen.

Superdistribution opens up new possibilities of distributing an application, as the delivery does not require any immediate payment between the two parties. Mobile phone manufacturers or dealers can preinstall applications in the phone’s memory, or they can be made available as downloads from web or WAP portals. In addition to this, users can copy applications from one phone to another. The license fee is collected only when the application is used for the first time. The payment message also contains information on how the application has reached the user in order to be able to reward the distributor.

License Manager is a client/server system that prevents efficiently the unauthorised use of mobile applications and provides users with an easy way to purchase a legal application license. License Manager works in mobile phones based on Symbian Series60, such as Nokia 3650, Nokia 6600, Nokia N-Gage and Siemens SX1. The system also runs in the newest Java phones like Nokia 3100.

Open Bit offers the License Manager system to both mobile application developers and distributors. At the moment Open Bit has invoicing agreements with 67 operators; they cover practically all of Western Europe as well as six Asian countries. The system is being utilised by ten application developers, such as Sumea, Psiloc and Patria Ailon. The aim is to broaden the developer base rapidly during the next months. Furthermore, several operators, equipment manufacturers and other application distributors are adopting License Manager to enhance their application distribution.

In October Open Bit became a Symbian Platinum Partner; now Open Bit has excellent possibilities of affecting the progress made in this developer community.
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