Quios launches wireless, ad-supported service

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Wireless communications company Quios on Sept. 11 launches PlanetQuios, an ad-supported service in which mobile users subscribe to news and entertainment updates delivered to their wireless phones. The messages are sent using Short Messaging Service, a standard wireless phone feature that allows people to send short text messages. While no advertisers have signed up for the service, Quios was talking to Grolsch beer, Sega of America Dreamcast and Sports.com, which tested the service in June by sponsoring alerts for Euro 2000, a European soccer championship tournament. The tournament generated 35,000 subscribers and delivered 2.5 million alerts. PlanetQuios draws content from people who sign up for the service as reporters, submitting their reports from wireless phones or online. Reporters, who cover events ranging from the bar and party scene in a particular city to bird watching, are ranked and graded on the quality and accuracy of their reports, said Quios CEO Marc Vanlerberghe. "Someone who's abusing the system will get crushed immediately,'' he said. "There's no place to hide,'' he added, explaining that people's identities are tied to their wireless phone numbers so they can't easily switch screen names. Quios, which doesn't have an agency of record, is considering launching an ad campaign by yearend.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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