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Sports Applications Technology

2D Barcodes Come to Latin America

July 14, 2010

Just in time for the World Cup hangover, particularly acute in South America this year, Bems, a Spanish company working with mobile products based on 2D barcodes, has “partnered with US-based NeoMedia Technologies (News - Alert) to distribute 2D barcode products throughout Latin America.”
According to the Global Print Monitor, Bems was chosen by Telefónica International as its “exclusive partner to develop a 2D barcode business in Latin America,” over the next four years:
“Bems has chosen NeoMedia as their primary technology and platform vendor for mobile barcode reading and campaign management, with a key focus on the brand marketing and advertising sectors. In addition, Bems will promote NeoMedia hardware solutions related to ticketing and couponing.”
As part of the deal NeoReader will be the preferred barcode reader for pre-installation on handsets, Global Print Monitor says, adding that “all code transactions will be routed through the NeoMedia infrastructure.”
PSFK Conference depicts the move as “the vast, though technologically limited, Latin American mobile market is about to take some steps towards catching up with its more developed counterparts.”
Global Print Media finds this 2D barcode initiative “part of a wider strategic plan for the operators to introduce tools for mobile to the Latin-American market.”
Industry observer Mauricio Soares says Latin America “has a huge mobile penetration (80 percent) compared to the global average (58 percent); and countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela surpass the 100 percent threshold. Nevertheless, not many of the 458 million mobile phone users are prone to data transactions through their devices, since most have voice-only service plans.”
In Brazil, the region’s largest market, Soares says, “roughly 80 percent of mobile phones are serviced by pre-paid plans, with hardly any access to data. Furthermore, voice signal is frequently less than acceptable in many regions of the country and the 3G network is still in its early development stages. That leads us to think that the goal of 85 percent growth rate in mobile internet through 2012 will only be achieved if services get better, and cheaper.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Erin Monda