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Mobile networks join forces with trade body

LONDON - The UK's five major mobile phone networks have appointed the Internet Advertising Bureau as the trade body for the nascent mobile advertising market.

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The big five - 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone UK - have formed a steering committee, with the IAB acting as a trade body to educate advertisers and agencies about the benefits of mobile advertising.

All five networks will provide funding to the IAB as it expands its remit to include the mobile market.

A report made in August by IT research group Gartner predicted that mobile advertising would be worth over £12bn globally by 2011.

Last November the IAB created the Mobile Council, which will be responsible for the planning and execution of a numbers of events, educational publications and research projects aimed at developing the promising market.

The first event will take place at the Mobile Forum in Budapest on October 7.

An IAB study published late last year concluded that the mobile advertising market is viewed in much the same way as online was at the turn of the century - lacking standards, measurement systems and case studies demonstrating its benefits.

Neil Andrews, head of portal advertising with 3, said "The next few years are critical to the development of the [mobile] medium and we are confident the IAB can facilitate the future success of mobile advertising, in the same way that it has done with online."

The deal follows a similar agreement made in February with mobile industry body the GSM Association with the aim of developing a measurement system for mobile advertising.

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