Metasite StartDial solution wins silver at SIMAGINE, the Worldwide Mobile Communication & Java Card Developer Contest in Barcelona

BARCELONA, 16 February 2006 – The StartDial solution, designed and developed by a team of Metasite engineers, has been awarded the Silver Prize at the finals of the SIMAGINE2006 contest organized by Axalto, Samsung Electronics and Sun Microsystems.

The Worldwide Mobile Communication & Java Card™ Developer Contest (7th edition) took place at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona (February 13-16, 2006). An international Selection Committee awarded prizes on February 14 to the eight finalists who presented their projects during the exhibition.

Taking part in the worldwide competition for the first time, the Metasite team managed to beat over 300 teams from all over the world to the triumph in the finals, where it shared the podium with EME International team from Egypt, who took gold, and Pine Labs from India, who ended up with bronze.

“This is an exceptional achievement for everybody at Metasite, and it once again proves the ability of our people to conceive, design and engineer solutions that are world class both on the business case, design, and engineering levels,” said Marius Vilimas, Head of Systems Development at Metasite Business Solutions. “We hope that the publicity the StartDial project is receiving will draw the entire mobile community’s attention to the complex usability challenges that need to be recognized and addressed during the development of next generation mobile value added services. For us at Metasite, this is a great start of the year.”

Before the finals in Barcelona, an international jury had selected the eight finalists from more than 300 entries in the 2006 Axalto SIMagine worldwide developer contest. Over the past six years, the Axalto SIMagine challenge, which aims to discover and promote new ideas for creative and powerful mobile services, has become the event of reference in the mobile value-added services world.

The StartDial application developed by Metasite for the contest innovatively utilizes the simple “dialing” interface to launch pre-defined mobile internet sites / VAS services, in essence creating a “speed dial” for the mobile internet and providing instant gratification to the users. By using the StartDial technology, accessibility and usability of mobile sites is radically improved, leading to increased number of satisfied users and more revenue both for operators and for the site owners.

“In 2.5G and 3G networks mobile data and value added services play an increasingly significant role. A lot of effort is therefore directed towards educating the end-user about the new and exciting services becoming available on the mobile internet. We are convinced that the best course of action for operators today is focusing on simplifying the user interface of these mobile services and making them more accessible: once it becomes easy to access any mobile service for huge numbers of mobile handset users, the supply of quality mobile sites will start growing exponentially”, noted Marius Vilimas.

“Currently very few users are savvy enough to enter a site URL via the handsets interface; even getting to the bookmarks menu is difficult for most. It is therefore almost impossible to advertise and promote stand-alone mobile sites and services if they cannot be found directly on the operator portal: even if an ad spells out the full URL of the mobile site and provides instructions on setting the site up as a bookmark, it requires too much effort for the user to actually set it up and connect to it.”

The StartDial solution removes this obstacle and makes spontaneous, “here and now” launching of mobile internet sites and services easy.

“Deployment of the StartDial technology would open exciting opportunities both for third-party VAS providers, for advertisers and for operators”, noted Marius Vilimas. “Technically the solution is feasible in a 2.5G/3G environment, where more advanced mobile internet/data services exist and most of the handsets come with a mobile web/wap browser preinstalled and ready for use. We therefore look forward to working with mobile operators interested in evaluating, customizing and deploying the StartDial solution in their networks”.

For Metasite, the StartDial project is another addition to the long line of cutting-edge business and technology solutions, many of which have been successfully deployed for enterprise clients in the Baltics, Great Britain and Russian Federation.