Integra5 has hitched its converged services wagon onto Sybase 365, which is a subsidiary of Sybase, in a partnership that was designed to allow mobile operators to extend their reach with the delivery of social, SMS-centric applications to multiple devices.
With the partnership, Integra5, which made a name for itself as one of the early providers of Caller ID on TV and PC applications, is able to tap into the new market of mobile operators with its MediaFriends TV Chat application that was launched in August (story here).
Integra5’s MediaFriends is a suite of social media applications that allows users to participate in real-time group or one-on-one chats using mobile phones, TVs, PCs and DECT phones. MediaFriends TV Chat delivers a social entertainment experience on the TV. Using a remote control, viewers can invite friends to watch TV programming together and engage in chats by sending text messages via their mobile phone and view the conversation directly on the TV.
“Sybase leads the world in SMS messaging,” said Integra5 vice president of business development Steve Borelli. “They deliver 200 billion messages a year across 700 operators. We launched MediaFriends last year, but this is obviously a big uplift for it.”
Deployed in the mobile operator’s network, Integra5’s platform is able to route SMS messages between the Sybase 365 mobile messaging platform and users’ mobile phones, TVs, PCs and DECT phones. In addition to mobile operators, the partnership also benefits video providers and programmers, enabling deployment of MediaFriends applications like TV Chat – with no wireless network requirements.
“Our partnership with Integra5 expands the reach of SMS messaging to a new realm of devices, including TVs and PCs, ultimately driving a better communication experience for the end user while opening up new revenue streams for mobile operators,” said Gregory Dunn, vice president of Americas for Sybase 365.
Borelli said Integra5’s MediaFriends TV Chat has been deployed with a cable operator in a controlled field trial that includes “friendlies” and real customers.
“It’s more than a small test,” he said. “It looks like [the cable operator is] going to charge on a monthly, reoccurring basis for as many chats as you want so it’s not too expensive.”
The second phase of MediaFriends, PC Chat, is slated for deployment later this year.