Australian wireless solution reseller Freedom Technologies has announced the availability of local content on the AvantGo mobile Internet service for Palm OS, PocketPC and Internet-enabled phones.
US-based firm AvantGo provides free interactive and personalised content for handheld devices based on thin-client browser technology, which is licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Freedom Technologies. AvantGo has around 600 content partners worldwide.
Since February, Freedom Technologies has been the licensee for the Australia/New Zealand region, and has signed up over 18,000 users to the service. These users previously accessed US-centric content such as CNN, but will now be able to access local content after Freedom Technologies signed up a group of local content partners. These include News.com.au, AustralianIT. com.au, Winepros.com.au, Ozbuy.com, LinuxPlaza.com, Yourmovies.com.au, Sydney Morning Herald, The Industry Standard Australia, Computerworld and Australian Reseller News.
"All business through the Australia/New Zealand region deals through us, while AvantGo hosts the content in the US," said Freedom Technologies MD, Ashley Bloch.
Under the agreement, Freedom Technologies earns a share of the revenue of content partners that is generated through this mobile access. Bloch expects the agreement to yield more customers in the region, based both on the introduction of local content as well as the growth in the handheld market.
"In my mind, in the next nine months I expect our local user base to grow from 18,000 to about 60,000 to 70,000," he said. "This is based on an existing base of Palm users and the growth of Palm devices in the domestic market, as well as the expected popularity of the local content. The fact that it is free to consumers obviously helps a lot," he said.