Optus launches third-party mobile content service

Optus today launched an open platform for mobile content providers which will enable them to offer a range of content services to Optus customers.Optus Premium Plus is a mobile content rating engine that allows third party providers of mobile content services to sell their mobile products to Optus Mobile customers.

Optus today launched an open platform for mobile content providers which will enable them to offer a range of content services to Optus customers.

Optus Premium Plus is a mobile content rating engine that allows third party providers of mobile content services to sell their mobile products to Optus Mobile customers. Optus is expecting 15 to 20 sites to be included in the Optus Zoo arcade -- in which third-party content providers' services will reside in the short term -- by the end of this month.

Chris Lane, Optus Mobile partners director, said Optus would facilitate delivery of the content to customers on behalf of the content partner via the premium plus platform. The company will then bill the customer on behalf of the content partner to their mobile post-paid account or pre-paid card.

Optus retains a revenue share for billing services and distributes the remainder of billed revenues to the content partner.

Lane said the platform would allow a content partner to connect via simple object access protocol (SOAP) XML interfaces via published application program interfaces (API) and software developers kits (SDK). These APIs allow the content partner to self configure, manage and control their mobile content offerings.

The premium partner hosts the content and WAP site or Web site on their infrastructure and connects via the published suite of APIs to the premium plus platform.

"The content provider can sit anywhere in the Internet. If it's on a server and its connected to the Internet and we've established communication protocols between our platform and your site, that's all you really need to do," Lane said.

Lane said the "managed partners" model they have adopted approves or authorises content providers by the carrier, but does not control the content 100 percent, unlike the "walled garden" approach where content is totally controlled by the carrier.

Lane assures that the open platform will not allow pornographic content to creep into mobile phones. He said Optus has guidelines that have to be followed by content providers who want to avail themselves of the premium plus service.

"We have very strict guidelines which conform to the industry guidelines that have been published today in terms of adult content. We will be, in the future, developing restricted access systems which provides security that lets us know for sure that the customer is over 18 and has registered for access to adult content. When that is in place, then we will open it up. But at this point we have no adult content and no intention to offer any," Lane said.

Lane added that content providers found violating the guidelines will be immediately taken off the Optus site.

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