Mobile Internet pioneer Bango announced today it has entered into a partnership with Cingular Wireless to give subscribers the widest choice of music, games and other mobile content available on any carrier network.
Through the agreement, Bango has integrated its technology with Cingular access and billing. Now Cingular's 51.6 million subscribers benefit from single-click "browse and buy" payment for games, ringtones and other content promoted by thousands of content providers round the world that use the Bango service.
This is the first time that Cingular has entered into an agreement with a provider of a WAP-based off-deck platform for content accessed via the mobile Internet. The agreement enables content providers to market and sell their services directly to mobile users on this network. The partnership eliminates the need for Cingular to pre-approve each individual content service, as Bango applies the required standards on its behalf and manages the contract with the content provider.
"Cingular is pioneering the open mobile content model," said Anil Malhotra, vice president of alliances at Bango. "This agreement gives Cingular customers massively increased choice by enabling a wide range of content providers to market mobile services easily and directly."
The Bango service provides subscribers with a transparent buying experience. Users are presented with a clear and concise payment page before they are billed, with the option to cancel a transaction before payment. Subscriptions and services that do not require a user to confirm a purchase before billing them are not supported.
Content providers are freed-up from figuring out how to enable access to content, identification and billing for their customers, all of which is provided by Bango across hundreds of carrier networks. In addition to 51.6 million Cingular users, content providers using the Bango service can directly reach an additional 300 million users across the world.
Bango is the leading direct-to-consumer channel for content in other key mobile markets. Many European mobile operators partner with Bango to give their subscribers access to a rich, competitive and high quality "open garden" of third party content while providing a safe and controlled buying and browsing experience.
Content providers register their mobile content through a web service at www.bango.com. They then use the Bango service to enable access to commercial mobile content through web site "triggers", mobile search, direct links from SMS short-codes and other discovery methods. The content provider controls the pricing and promotion of their content on-line and keeps track of traffic and revenues in real time through the same web service. Pricing is automatically localized for customers outside of the United States.