Anna Chagnon, CEO Bitstream, the company which has developed the newly most talked about mobile browser, BOLT shares more information on the browser in an interaction with TelecomTiger.
Q1) Give us a brief insight about Bolt Browser and how is it different from the other mobile web browsers?
Ans: The chief differences between BOLT and other mobile web browsers are speed, streaming video support, desktop PC-style browsing, and broad device support. BOLT routinely loads pages at least 25-50 percent faster than the next fastest mobile browser (Opera Mini). BOLT is the only J2ME mobile browser that supports streaming video from top video-sharing sites such as YouTube, Google and MySpace. Unlike other mobile browsers, BOLT does not reformat, repurpose or remove any content from the full desktop version of websites (users can manually choose to load WAP sites, but BOLT loads the complete desktop version by default). BOLT also features a patented split screen browsing mode that features a floating rectangle on a zoomed out minimap of the web page on the top two-thirds of the screen and magnified content (that is under the rectangle) on the bottom third, this enables users to find content faster than in competing mobile browsers. Finally BOLT runs well on virtually any device that supports J2ME, meaning that BOLT can run on 75% of the world’s four billion mobile phones.
Q2) You have entered the mobile web browser space at a comparatively late stage. How do you intend to catch up with the competition?
Ans: BOLT is actually the third generation of Bitstream’s ThunderHawk mobile browsing technology. In fact, BOLT is the result of over five years experience developing mobile browsers that optimize usability, speed and performance on resource-constrained systems with limited memory, processing power and screen space. We’ve taken everything we learned over the past five years and packaged it in the user-friendly, feature-rich browsing experience that is BOLT.
Remember, there are only 100 million mobile browsers installed (across all vendors) while the total mobile phone market is over 4 billion phones and growing. To that end, we feel that this market remains young and fragmented and that this race is still anybody’s to win. Our browser has some significant advantages over the competition and the user-adoption rate of our beta program has exceeded our most optimistic projections, so we feel very good about our chances.
Q3) What is your revenue model?
Ans: We intend to monetize BOLT through a number of complimentary revenue streams including licensing to OEMs and Carriers, search engine royalties, and advertising/paid placement.
Q4) What percentage of your users are from India?
Ans: 17.5%, or approximately one in six of our users, reside in India. We currently have more users in India than in any other region outside of North America.
Q5) Are you in tie-up with any of the handset manufacturers?
Ans: We are currently talking to several handset manufacturers but are not at liberty to disclose any details at this time as the discussions are ongoing.
Q6) What are your targets in terms of subscriber base, market share, revenues for the next few ears?
Ans: We do not disclose this type of information.
Q7) How big is your team?
Ans: Our team totals 96 members, 20 of whom work in India.
Q8) What are your plans for the Indian market?
Ans:We plan to continue to optimize our service to provide the fastest, most feature-rich browsing experience on the feature phones that our Indian users seem to prefer.