Nokia's mobile ad play

Eden Zoller/Ovum
18 Sep 2007

Nokia has entered a definitive agreement to acquire mobile advertising company Enpocket for an undisclosed sum. Privately-held Enpocket was established in 2001, is headquartered in Boston and has an international client base.

Enpocket is a very good catch for Nokia. It gives Nokia a leg-up in mobile advertising and the credibility that it needs to be taken seriously in the space. Nokia has been trying to make inroads into mobile advertising as part of its wider repositioning as a services company.

In March Nokia announced a fully-managed mobile advertising service that will feature an ad network and a white label solution.The move was interesting but the proposition unclear and it gave the impression of not being well-thought through from a strategic perspective. It was an instance of Nokia making a bold move and showing the industry where it wanted to go, even if it was not yet that well-prepared.

The Enpocket deal raises the stakes and places Nokia in a much stronger position. Enpocket provides Nokia with an award-winning, proven platform that supports a wide range of mobile inventory, has strong analytic capabilities and is scalable. And we can expect to see further enhancements with Nokia's money and technical resource behind it.

Enpocket is privately-held and so its financial status is not disclosed, but it has a strong, experienced management team. The company also has an expanding customer base that includes international operators like Vodafone, Sprint Nextel and Telefonica, and brands like Pepsi. It would take Nokia years to build up a customer base of this quality and breadth.

Eden Zoller is a principal analyst at Ovum

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