MasterCard has joined rivals Visa and American Express in the mobile-payment arena by investing in mFoundry, a startup that supplies mobile-payment applications to hundreds of banks and credit unions. The deal would convert those apps into mobile-wallet tools by giving mFoundry's clients the ability to support MasterCard's near-field communications PayPass system. MasterCard was described as the lead investor; other contributors included Intel Capital, Fidelity Information Services and Motorola Mobility.
A growing number of devices certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance are veering away from the standard's PC and laptop roots. Mobile phones and gaming devices now look to include Wi-Fi as a standard offering, as more consumers adopt and use the technology.
Long known for solid service, Verizon Wireless is setting out to increase its cool quotient in anticipation of its LG Voyager, the company's response to the iPhone. From using a rap video to fan sites and blog posts, Verizon Wireless is trying to cultivate a reputation for innovation.
Nokia's acquisition of mobile-ad firm Enpocket has given the cell-phone maker the infrastructure to roll out advertising to its devices. Mobile-phone firms have access to a potentially rich vein of data on users, giving marketers the opportunity to reach specific demographic and market segments. The drawback for now is that relatively few mobile users are equipped with the kind of Web-enabled devices required to display rich media advertising.
Responding to a German court order, T-Mobile said today that it would sell iPhones without a contract but at more than double the price to those who opt for one. Also in accordance with the ruling, T-Mobile -- which began selling iPhones in Germany on Nov. 9 -- will also remove SIM locks that prevent users from switching to a rival network.