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Viztone Ltd has developed application that will allow the delivery of advertisements during the pre-connection phase of any telephone call.  Viztone’s “video ring back tones” replace the traditional (brrr, brrr sound) a caller hears whilst he is waiting for the recipient of his call to pick up. The innovation is backed by patents granted in the UK and Australia and filed in the USA (2001).

Video ring back tones may be commercially deployed in numerous situations, businesses may deliver advertisements or customised clips to customers who contact their call centres, consumers may create and distribute their own content; however person to person calls, carrying generic pre-connection advertisements represent the largest potential market.

Whilst Video ring back tones have been widely adopted in other markets, notably the Far East, difficulties with a legacy network infrastructure and the slow uptake of video calling have delayed adoption within Western Europe and the USA. More specifically, billing difficulties remain a barrier to uptake in these regions.

However, the emergence of more sophisticated smart phones has enabled more complex handset applications to be developed; allowing the development of an application that delivers video ring back tones to users independently of network connectivity and infrastructure.

Viztone has recently completed the development of a working prototype; this fully functional and interactive model is available for demonstration.

Users will receive incentives in return for viewing advertisements during the pre-connect phase of their calls. These could take the form of a revenue share from advertising revenues, free minutes or accumulation of reward points from existing schemes. Viztone revenues will be generated by charging advertisers for delivery of their content.

Ofcom’s Telecommunications Market Data Update Q4 2009 reported “..in Total call volumes increased by 6.3% year-on-year to 27.4 billion in Q4 2009; Total messaging volumes reached nearly 26 billion in Q4 2009, equivalent to 367 messages per subscriber; The number of active mobile subscriptions grew by nearly 1.5 million in Q4 2009 to 70.65 million”