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What’s happening among the MEF membership? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF Members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…

DOCOMO Digital brings carrier billing to Malaysia

U Mobile customers can now pay for Google Play Store content direct from the phone bill, thanks to DOCOMO Digital.

The Malaysian operator will use DOCOMO Digital’s payment enabler platform to ensure users can purchase apps and songs with a few clicks.

Jasmine Lee, Chief Marketing Officer of U Mobile, said: “U Mobile is always seeking to enhance our customers experience and we are delighted to be able to partner with the leading global mobile commerce solution provider, DOCOMO Digital to offer Direct Carrier Billing for digital services online.”

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Syntonic hires new biz dev VP

Randy Smith has joined sponsored data specialist Syntonic from Microsoft.

The new VP of business development will lead global expansion of Freeway by Syntonic, an app that aggregates content which is free to data charges to the end user. Freeway is deployed by two of the three US’s largest MNOs, and has users in India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Smith has more than 20 years of experience in M&A. He has held several executive positions at Microsoft, across Windows Phone platform and Windows Media Audio.

He said: “The market potential for Syntonic’s products, services and platform technologies is exhilarating, and I’m looking forward to helping Syntonic incubate, develop and implement growth opportunities around the globe.”

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Orange extends mobile pay at fuel stations deal

Customers in nine African countries can use Orange’s mobile wallet to pay for fuel in over 1,000 service stations, after the operator signed a deal with Vivo Energy.

The service will be extended to Botswana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritius, Senegal and Tunisia. It is already available in Mali, Ivory Coast and Madagascar. Following this new agreement.

Thierry Millet, EVP mobile financial services at Orange Group, said: “Through this multi-country partnership, we significantly increase the number of merchants that accept mobile money transactions. This is a real gain of proximity for our shared customers that can pay in a fast and secure way, and cash in and cash out from any Vivo Energy outlet”.

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PubMatic posts record financials

Ad specialist PubMatic says its 2016 results reflect the highest levels of revenue, profit and cash flow performance in its ten-year history.

The financial show an Adjusted EBITDA margin over 30 per cent. And 2016 was the fourth year in a row that PubMatic achieved operating profitability.

Rajeev Goel, CEO of PubMatic, said the decision to focus on premium publishers has paid off. “The strategy of publishers taking back control of their assets is further supported as we see the implementation of our Unified Ad Server technology, allowing programmatic and direct sales channels to compete for access to audiences in real-time,” he said.

PubMatic clients include Gruner+Jahr e|MS, Tencent Online Media Group, Hemnet, Web Financial Group, Proxama and Mediekompaniet Adapt.

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SpotX expands in the Nordics; adds new senior hires

SpotX has appointed Daniel Wohlfart and Sabine Janetzki to continue its drive into the Nordics.

Wohlfart is an mobile ad veteran with four years at Ooyala on his CV. He joins as director of operations and account management. Meanwhile Sabine Janetzki arrives from Spotify to be demand facilitation manager.

Stephen Byrne, who heads up the Nordic region for SpotX, said: “As we grow our business across the Nordics we are hiring more talented individuals to service our clients. I’m excited to have them both on board to serve our clients.”

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SAP updates its digital banking platform

Building mobile financial services just got a little easier, as SAP launched a new version of its Omnichannel Banking offering.

The platform simplifies the process of managing mobile and online apps for retail, small business and commercial banking customers. It comprises more than 500 microservices, and has a modular architecture so banks can roll out new products and services in an incremental fashion.

Falk Rieker, global head of the banking business unit at SAP, said: “This is nothing short of a game changer, one that empowers banks to differentiate from each other and allows them to provide a tailored, digital customer experience.”

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Telefónica will commit €70 million to Spanish TV content

The Spanish arm of operator Telefonica, Movistar, thinks pay TV in Spain is ‘sluggish’ – and it plans to do something about it.

Movistar has pledged to spend €70 million on four original drama series this year and 10 in 2018. They will include La Peste, a thriller set in the 16th Century.

Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica Spain, said: “We are a player combining the best content, the best connectivity, the best technical functionalities and the finest client knowledge – four features no competitor can meet.”

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Wikipedia awarded $3 million grant to grow public content library

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has handed the Wikimedia Foundation $3 million to streamline its public repository of images, videos and other media.

It will use the grant to properly categorise the free to use Wikimedia Commons archive and make it easier to search. The repository contains over 35 million media assets.

Doron Weber, vice president and program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, said: “Wikipedia continues to serve as a shining, global counter-example of open collaborative knowledge sharing and consensus building… We all need Wikipedia, its sister projects, its technology, and its values, now more than ever.”

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