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Vicky Nolan

Indiqu Bridges the Net/WAP Gap

25 May 2000

In these fast moving times, e-businesses must always look for new ways to attract customers. One option that numerous Internet gaming operators are now considering is expanding their services to mobile telephones, and a San Diego company called Indiqu is ready to help them adapt their Internet-based games for mobile betting.

Indiqu co-founder Karl Simonsen points out that his company's approach is unique. "We provide the enabling technology for a lottery or Internet gaming site to be available via the WAP platform to easily tie into its current Internet site," Simonsen explained. Most WAP (wireless application protocol) technology providers create a separate site for their mobile phone clientele and their services only work on a handful of phones whereas Indiqu adapts its clients' sites so that their content is available via any phone with a browser.

Indiqu's service also enables operators to keep both Internet and mobile sites current without having to change them individually.

When a customer accesses an Indiqu-enabled site via wireless phone, the site's software finds out what kind of telephone it is, such as Nokia or Ericckson. With that information, the system then sends out appropriate text that will work on that phone. (Each manufacturer's telephone interprets the code differently, despite standards that have been developed.) It's somewhat comparable to sites that provide different coding for various Internet browsers. Plus, Indiqu supports both WAP) and SMS (short message services), so that their customers can be access by users from around the world.

Of course, adapting a site for wireless--especially a gaming site--isn't easy. One of their biggest challenges, according to Simonsen,, is "educating mobile operators and Internet site operators that these are two different worlds, and they each have different requirements." For example, a gaming site would have to adapt a colorful graphic-intense Internet game to a very tiny black-and-white phone screen.

Indiqu is already working with a number of gaming operators and four national lotteries--none of which he can name yet--that are ready to go mobile. Simonsen expects at least one announcement in July, with others to follow shortly thereafter.

The company has been promoting its services in nearly every European country as well as the Caribbean. Hong Kong wireless providers wanting to provide mobile betting services to their customers have contacted them too. (Telecoms like betting services because they provides "stickiness." After all, their customers pay for every minute they use their mobile phones. Any way to keep their customers on the phone earns the telecom greater income.)

Mobile betting has been good for Indiqu. At least 15 to 20 percent of its current business comes from betting, gaming and lottery operators, says Simonesen,, and those numbers could increase as more sites consider going wireless.

The company has also developed a nifty way to generate income: by enabling the client's site for free and collecting a fee every time the client acquires a new customer.

To keep up with its growing customer list, Indiqu has opened offices in Paris, Dublin, London, Zurich, Madrid and Montreal. More offices will open in Amsterdam, Germany and Milan and eventually in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The company employs about 75, with 30 percent handling technology and design.

Indiqu Bridges the Net/WAP Gap is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan