Alcatel-Lucent’s Optism mobile ad platform finally gets location-savvy

Struggling telecoms supplier Alcatel-Lucent(s alu) has beefed up its Optism mobile advertising platform by integrating geolocation technology from fellow French firm Intersec.
Optism is hardly as recognized a name as Admob or InMobi, but then again it’s more targeted at operators, offering them a way to get into the mobile advertising business without having to deal with media agencies. Think targeted, permission-driven SMS and MMS rather than display ads.
It makes complete sense for operators to be in this business, due to the breadth of customer data that they already hold (see also, Amobee, which got bought by SingTel last year.) So far Optism has already attracted carriers such as Orange (Austria) and Etisalat (UAE and Nigeria).
However, despite the fact that Optism’s reliance on user preferences helped its targeting, until now the geolocation piece of the puzzle was missing – a pretty major disadvantage these days. That’s what’s changing now through the Intersec deal.
Intersec provides a piece of technology, known as IGLOO, that sucks in and aggregates anonymized data, including circuit switch, packet switch, Wi-Fi and indoor location data. Obviously this is where it makes sense to be plugged into the network in the way that the Optism tie-in allows.

“In order to expand to geo-based offers and coupons, we were looking for a ‘device-agnostic’ solution that was able to aggregate all of the location data that the network was seeing, both passive and active sources, both for in-store as outdoor proximity campaigns,” Alcatel-Lucent mobile commerce chief Thomas Labarthe said in a statement.

Although newer, more fine-grained context parameters are already coming into play these days in mobile advertising, the addition of geolocation data is particularly useful for Optism. It’s already a boon for the platform to be able to target people who actually want to be targeted, but location, combined with other factors such as the time of day, should make for more effectively-directed coupons, in-store offers and so on.