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Redford and Rossellini are your hosts, but mobile technology is the real star

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Robert Redford made a surprise guest appearance at the 13th Annual GSMA Global Mobile Awards on Wednesday night, but the real stars were the winners announced at the gala dinner in Barcelona. The big winners included the Sony Ericsson W910 Walkman Phone and Omifone’s MusicStation. Get the full details here…

Hosted by international comedian Graham Norton, the 13th Annual GSMA Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona on Wednesday night was a glittering evening full of stars and surprises, with legendary actor, director and Sundance Institute Founder and President, Robert Redford introducing the GSMA’s Mobile Entertainment Awards ahead of his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress the following day (watch Gadget for our forthcoming coverage of the event).

Robert Redford introduces the awards

Awards were presented by actor, writer and producer Isabella Rossellini, Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra and, from the music world, Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am.

will.i.am at the awards

Congratulating the winners, the GSMA’s CEO Rob Conway said: ‚Each year as the influence of mobile communications spreads further to enhance more and more aspects of people’s lives, the scope of the Awards become greater, and the competition becomes more intense as a result. Because the mobile world is such an amazing universe of opportunities, its gravitational forces are pulling other industries into its realm – internet, finance, advertising, music and film. ‚Many of tonight’s winners reflect that premise, and as we celebrate 20 years since the foundations for global mobile communication were laid, they demonstrate not only how far we have come, but also the limitless possibilities of where innovation and inspiration can take us in the years ahead.‚ The Global Mobile Awards 2008 are sponsored by Qualcomm. Ericsson and Verisign are category sponsors.

Global Mobile Awards 2008 winners are:

(see below the list for details and judges’ comments on all the winners)

Best Mobile Handset or Device SonyEricsson: W910 Walkman Phone 3UK: 3 Skypephone – Highly Commended

Best Broadcast Commercial Safaricom: M-PESA ‘Send Money Home’ campaign

Best Mobile Advertising Crossmedia Avenue: AMF Pension ‚ the MMS campaign

Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development Grameenphone: CellBazaar

Best Network Quality Initiative RAD Data Communications: LA-130 Cell Gateway – Cost-Effective HSPA Backhaul

Best Service Delivery Platform Aepona: Aepona Telecom Web Services Platform

Best Billing and Customer Solution Bharti Airtel: mChek on Airtel ‚ Mobile Payments Service

Best Roaming Product or Service Syniverse Technologies: Syniverse Datanet

Best Mobile Game Cellufun: Call of the Pharaoh Glu Mobile: My Hangman

Best Mobile Music Service Omnifone: MusicStation

Best Mobile Video Service mywaves: mywaves

Best Mobile Social Networking Service BuzzCity: myGamma.com

Best Mobile Infotainment Portal for News/entertainment Yahoo! Connected Life: Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0

Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service Microsoft: Windows Mobile 6

Best Mobile Messaging Service Seven: System Seven 7.0

The GSMA Chairman’s Award Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder, Chairman & Group CEO Bharti Enterprise

Best Mobile Game

Cellufun : Call of the Pharaoh

Call of the Pharaoh is modelled after viral pyramid schemes, so the game was designed using a pyramid scheme algorithm and, in an effort to follow the pattern, was then made about being a pharaoh and building a pyramid. By requiring recruitment and cooperation, the game drives viral exposure and traffic. Call of the Pharaoh is compelling and innovative because it engages the entire community of Cellufun users and requires participation and communication from all parties in order for any one gamer to advance to a next level. The community aspect and pyramid scheme design of this game help it stand out from the rest.” Judges’ comments: ‚One of two outstanding entries that the judges just couldn’t split, so a joint winner. Call of the Pharaoh (from Cellufun) introduces social networking to games, you can’t win this all on your own, you need to call in your buddies. Beware, don’t start this just before bedtime or you will spend all night on it!‚

Glu Mobile : My Hangman

My Hangman takes traditional hangman to all new level with exciting new twists. The much loved word game makes the jump to mobile complete with a suite of additions and customisable features for a personal hangman challenge. My Hangman includes over 1,000 word puzzles based on popular culture words and phrases: movies, pop music, sport – plus bonus mini-games between puzzles for extra power ups. It’s the ideal game for fun, casual game play. It’s compelling because it is a personalised mobile gaming experience. The player can customise their game using the phone’s camera to insert a friend (or enemy’s) face in the game as you try to crack the Hangman word puzzles. Judges’ comments: ‚One of two outstanding entries that the judges just couldn’t split, so a joint winner. My Hangman takes a traditional game we’ve all played as children, added some clever twists, and brought into the 21st century by making it highly personalised and adding your own photos to the game is really good fun too.‚

Best Mobile Music Service

Omnifone : MusicStation

Omnifone is Europe’s leading direct-to-mobile unlimited music download service provider. Partners include Vodafone, Telenor, 3 Hong Kong and Vodacom, all of whom have rolled out Omnifone’s revolutionary subscription based mobile music service MusicStation, providing unlimited downloads direct to a wide range of industry standard music enabled handsets for a small weekly fee or bundled into price plans. Omnifone has 30 Mobile Network Operators engaged as MusicStation partners across Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and has international licence agreements with all four major labels and many independents. For further information please visit: www.omnifone.com. Judges’ comments: ‚A truly generic music station for just about every music enabled mobile phone on the market. Heaven sent for the mobile music lover.‚

Best Mobile Video Service

mywaves : mywaves

mywaves is the fastest-growing mobile video destination for consumers, attracting over 4.5 million unique visitors monthly to its free mobile video service. Consumers can browse through nearly 400,000 channels of premium, private and user-generated videos and have their favorites automatically updated and delivered to their phones. Most users tune in to watch mywaves video weekly with average viewing times of 24 minutes per session. The service works globally across all 3G, EDGE, BREW and EV-DO carriers as well as most video-capable mobile phones, including Palm, Windows Mobile, Symbian and RIM based phones. mywaves is led by a team from Yahoo!, Napster, Danger, Palm and TiVo. Judges’ comments: ‚Easy to use, made-for-mobile video service that’s fun, free and fantastic. Sure fire winner amongst the mobile video fans.‚

Best Mobile Social Networking Service

BuzzCity : myGamma.com

myGamma.com, by BuzzCity, is a mobile internet community, where people worldwide exchange ideas and express themselves as a way of keeping in touch with friends or making new ones. Registration is free and members interact via their personal profiles, blogs, discussion groups and many other community features. These features are crafted to appeal to our basic need for friendship and our sense of vanity. Consequently, primary activities include the exchange of testimonials, virtual gifts and voting of member photos. Members generally have limited or no access to computers and have made mobiles their primary access to the Internet. Judges’ comments: ‚Let the people speak. Rapidly growing social network site spanning borders, cultures and languages. The world just got a lot smaller ‚ and smarter.‚

Best Mobile Infotainment Portal for News or Entertainment

Yahoo! Connected Life : Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0

With Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0, the online world now lives on a user’s phone. It is an all-in-one client application that redefines the mobile Internet experience for consumers’ handsets through a unique product design, the ability to personalise with content from the entire Internet and a reinvention of mobile search via Yahoo! oneSearch. The unique carousel design of Yahoo! Go 2.0 makes it simple for consumers to navigate the selection of Yahoo! Go widgets for e-mail, local information and maps, news, sports, finance, entertainment, weather, photo sharing and search. The service includes Yahoo! oneSearch‚Ñ¢, an innovative new mobile search service designed to give consumers what they want on their mobile phone ‚ instant answers. Judges’ comments: ‚What WEB 2.0 really needs is to go mobile and now it has thanks to Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2. Crammed full of with every widget you ever needed and some you didn’t know you did ‚ until now!‚

Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service

Microsoft : Windows Mobile 6

Microsoft is connecting people to the information that matters most to them, anywhere, anytime. Windows Mobile 6 makes it easier for businesses to go mobile with increased integration with existing Microsoft technology, new mobile security features and added functionality to help employees collaborate while on the go. Windows Mobile 6 advances rich mobile experiences for people outside of work through integration with Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, Live Search and Windows Live Spaces. Windows Mobile 6 was the first mobile device platform to offer HTML e-mail support allowing people to receive, view and compose e-mail in HTML format. Judges’ comments: ‚A leading platform for business owing to the ease of integration with Microsoft Exchange infrastructure. For the SMB market in particular, Windows Mobile 6 is an attractive proposition.‚

Best Mobile Messaging Service

Seven : System Seven 7.0

System SEVEN 7.0 is the culmination of years of experience and research to make carrier grade mobile email accessible to everyone. SEVEN 7.0 is the most flexible mobile email solution on the market today, available on more than 115 carriers worldwide and 240 mobile phones worldwide. SEVEN supports all major device platforms including: J2ME, BREW, Symbian, Palm and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices, and provides instant push email from work and consumer accounts including Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange, AOL, Google, Hotmail, Windows Live and Yahoo! among others. SEVEN’s simplicity, widespread compatibility and reliability have made it a favourite among users.‚ Judges’ comments: ‚If you want e-mail on your phone and you want to keep the phone of your choice, System Seven 7 is what you’ve been waiting for.‚

Best Mobile Handset or Device

SonyEricsson : W910 Walkman Phone

The W910 Walkman phone is designed for entertainment: whether music, 3D games, video, or high-speed Web access, and geared to let you choose your music, your way. SensMe‚Ñ¢ enables you to search your collection and create play lists based on tempo and style rather than on artist or album. Shake control shuffles your play list. PlayNow‚Ñ¢ V4.0 lets you preview or pre-listen to a variety of media content and then buy it over-the-air if you wish. TrackID‚Ñ¢ – in collaboration with Gracenote¬Æ will identify a music track and show you the track name, artist and album, all for free – data charges may apply. The Sony Ericsson W910 Walkman¬Æ phone is single-band UMTS/HSDPA, quad-band EDGE phone. Judges’ comments: ‚The Sony Ericsson W910 is a superb all-rounder. A compelling, easy to use design that has captured the imagination of consumers around the world in 2007.‚

3UK : 3 Skypephone

The 3 Skypephone mobile is a small, compact handset with Skype functionality built in ‚ the first of its kind in the world. Skype contacts and calls are completely integrated into the address book and call logs, adding presence awareness to the consumer’s phonebook. The Skype functionality includes making and receiving Skype calls, Skype caller ID and Skype chat. The 3 Skypephone includes a 2 megapixel camera, MP3 player and internet browser and brings one of the internet’s most powerful applications to the mobile world using a mixture of IP and 3G voice technology. The handset offers one button access to a host of key internet services, instant messaging, search, Youtube and Facebook. Judges’ comments: ‚The Skypephone is an innovative partnership between Hutchison 3 and Skype. In addition to the headline Skype service, the phone offers extremely good value for money with a wide range of features not previously seen at this price point.‚

Best Broadcast Commercial

Safaricom : M-PESA ‚ÄòSend Money Home’ campaign

M-PESA is a new Safaricom service launched in March 2007, allowing Kenyans to transfer money fast, safely & affordably using the mobile phone. The ‚ÄòSend Money Home’ campaign was designed to demonstrate to customers how to use M-PESA and drive registrations of 98,000 customers through 800 retail outlets in 8 months. The commercial had to give this information in an engaging manner while reassuring customers of the simplicity and accessibility of the service. In 8 months over 1,000,000 customers registered for M-PESA and the Agent network grew to 1300 outlets as a result of customer demand generated through the campaign. Judges’ comments: ‚This shows the importance of mobile data services for more than just voice services or content download, fulfilling a vital social function. A simple campaign that has worked extremely effectively for its target audience.‚

Best Mobile Advertising

Crossmedia Avenue : AMF Pension ‚ the MMS campaign

Crossmedia Avenue, a Swedish mobile marketing and mobile entertainment company, produced the mobile element in a national campaign for the market leading Swedish insurance company AMF Pension. The campaign resulted in a huge success with the enormous response of 262 000 via the mobile and 323 000 with the web interface included (9M inhabitants of Sweden). The campaign, ‚Meet yourself in the future‚ , marketed with TV spots and billboards, gave the audience the opportunity to experience themselves as 70-year olds by sending in their portrait image. In the return MMS message their face would be aged into a 70 year-old before their eyes. Crossmedia Avenue produced the ageing application and mobile solution. Judges’ comments: ‚Creative and original use of morphing and MMS with a clear marketing goal in mind. This works in support of the AMF Pension message in a way that only a mobile campaign could. Staggering mobile response rate to a TV campaign. Associating it with similar age personalities reinforces acceptability of product.‚

Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development

Grameenphone : CellBazaar

Grameenphone CellBazaar is a user-generated virtual marketplace, accessible via mobile phone or PC to nearly 17 million people in Bangladesh. In developing countries, limited communications hinder commerce and uninformed farmers and traders have little bargaining power with exploitative middlemen. Using CellBazaar (www.cellbazaar.com), buyers and sellers trade basic goods from their mobiles, bringing the benefits of information exchange and one-to-many trading to a previously unwired rural population. Users post or search an item, spending less than US$.02, either by SMS or WAP or WEB, depending on their preferences. While common telephony establishes one-to-one communication, CellBazaar links many-to-many using the same basic mobile infrastructures. Judges’ comments: ‚Great initiative – full marks for self-sustainability. This grass root level initiative is not only for operators to make money but for rural folks to sell and trade their goods and increased price transparency and help for the illiterate is also available. It has clear environmental benefits through reduced travel.‚

Best Network Quality Initiative

RAD Data Communications : LA-130 Cell Gateway ‚ Cost-Effective HSPA Backhaul

The LA-130 is the market’s first gateway that aggregates 2G, 3G and HSDPA traffic from cell sites and efficiently transports it over cost-effective DSL infrastructure. The cellular revolution has meant that an HSDPA user can use the same capacity as over 1,000 2G GSM subscribers so typical backhaul technology cannot economically sustain anything more than minor HSDPA usage. By employing RAD’s cell-site gateways, mobile operators such as T-Mobile and eMobile are already cost-effectively sustaining the bandwidth provided by HSDPA without needing to throttle-back data rates. Judges’ comments: ‚Fixing the black hole in backhaul, the LA-130 also clears up mobile operators’ bunged-up passages and allows mobile surfers to ride the big waves.‚

Best Service Delivery Platform

Aepona : Aepona Telecom Web Services Platform

Aepona’s Telecom Web Services Platform empowers Telco’s to fully participate in the new, collaborative world of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 services, rather than being relegated to the role of dumb bit pipe for ‚over the top‚ services from Webco’s, device/portal vendors and Enterprise application providers. Aepona’s solution allows Telco’s to securely publish their network capabilities (communications, information, intelligence) to the outside world as standards-based Web Services. This enables thousands of 3rd parties to telecom-enable both web-based consumer services and enterprise applications, providing Telco’s with new revenue sources from existing assets as well as many new routes to market. Judges’ comments: ‚At last application developers can go mobile without the nightmares. The Aepona Web Services Platform joins together developers and Telcos in one easy move.‚

Best Billing and Customer Care Solution

Bharti Airtel : mChek on Airtel ‚ Mobile Payments Service

Instantaneous Anytime Anywhere Convenience of Mobile Bill Payments & Prepaid Recharge ‚ from the convenience of ANY mobile phone (even a ultra low cost handset can be used) or ANY web page (see example on www.mchek.com).This patent-pending solution allows customers to register credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts and link them to their mobile phone with a user-created 6-digit PIN. Users can pay their post-paid bills, prepaid recharge, or pay on behalf of others by sending a simple SMS and entering their PIN over a USSD session. This is a first of its kind service in the world. Judges’ comments: ‚For all those who thought mobile commerce was a pipe dream, mChek on Airtel, has just shown the way to do it. The cashless society is here and it’s gone mobile.‚

Best Roaming Product or Service

Syniverse Technologies : Syniverse Datanet

Syniverse DataNet is the next generation of roaming anti-fraud protection for network operators and, by extension, their subscribers. Developed to exceed the GSMA’s Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE) specifications, DataNet dramatically reduces the time taken by the outmoded High Usage Record (HUR) for home and visited operators to exchange roaming data records, making fraud easier to detect and resolve. NRTRDE is expected to reduce the incidence of roaming fraud by up to 90%. Since fraud directly impacts profitability, Syniverse DataNet improves service levels for operators by reducing their exposure to potential losses. Syniverse, who played a leading role in the development of the GSMA’s NRTRDE standards, launched DataNet in June 2007 and already has more than 50 contracts with operators worldwide. Judges’ comments: ‚A breakthrough in roaming data exchange for the back-office which should also revolutionise the roaming experience for the user.‚

The GSM Association Chairman’s Award

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder, Chairman & Group CEO Bharti Enterprise

Sunil Bharti Mittal

The GSMA Chairman’s Award, the association’s highest annual honour, is this year presented to Sunil Bharti Mittal, entrepreneur, founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises. This prestigious honour, presented at the discretion of the GSMA Chairman, seeks to recognise an outstanding personal or company contribution to the growth and development of mobile communications around the world. It reflects Sunil’s remarkable dedication, personal passion and leadership toward the goal of connecting people via communication across the broad spectrum of Indian society. In doing so, he has led a business revolution which has seen Bharti-Airtel innovate in unique ways and reinvent its business model in order to sustainably serve and connect the lowest income strata of Indian society. His brave and ambitious strategies have, and will continue to resonate across the industry and business community globally, in what will become a benchmark for many emerging markets around the globe. Sunil Mittal’s other passion, is one which is closest to his heart ‚ education. In a country, where 300 million people do not have access to education, Sunil Mittal has started a programme aimed at delivering high quality primary education to poorest of children by setting up hundreds of schools in the farthest villages of India. Sunil started his career at the age of 18 after graduating from Punjab University in India and founded Bharti, with a modest capital, in 1976. Today, at 50 he heads a successful enterprise, among the top 5 in India, with a market capitalization of over US$ 35 billion employing over 30,000 people.

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