OpDecision and Soldiers, CBTReferee App, IPOWOW and DCN, Regulations Stifling Argentina

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OpDecision and Soldiers, CBTReferee App, IPOWOW and DCN, Regulations Stifling Argentina

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Only the Lonely, the album of dark, moody ballads he called his "suicide songs" collection:

OpDecision, a corporate wireless expense management firm, has formed a sponsorship with Cell Phones for Soldiers.
More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families, and OpDecision and Cell Phones for Soldiers wants companies and individuals to help them out by donating cell phones. 

"We are in the wireless business, and no one is more worthy of regular communication than our soldiers who serve overseas," says Jay Milgrom, CEO of OpDecision. "That's why we have formed a sponsorship with Cell Phones for Soldiers, which lets our soldiers connect with loved ones back home."

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 nonprofit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

Approximately half of the phones are reconditioned and resold. The proceeds from each donated phone are enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad, CP for S officials say.

"During the past few years, we have been amazed by the generosity of others. But, we have also seen the need to support our troops continue," says Brittany Bergquist, Cell Phones for Soldiers co-founder. "It is easy for Americans to make a small sacrifice of support by donating their unused cell phones and providing families with a much-needed connection to their loved ones overseas."

CBTReferee, a new app for the iPhone and Android, provides users with mobile tools to assist in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a type of psychotherapy that involves journaling and reflecting to deter dysfunctional emotions and feelings.
So when we say "yep, there's an app for that" about pretty much everything, we mean there's an app for that.
This particular app lets users "jot down their thoughts and learn from them while on the go," company officials say.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, of which this reporter was completely ignorant of and suspects he's not the only one in that basket, is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning negative emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.
The treatment requires the patient to jot down negative thoughts or feelings, analyze them by noting cognitive traps such as generalization or catastrophic thinking, and finally, writing down a healthier statement that supports positive feelings.

The problem, company officials concede, is that "negative thoughts don't always occur in a therapist's office, or when you have a pad and pen handy." Or an iPhone, but nothing is perfect.

"I found myself always needing to carry around a notebook to practice CBT, since negative thoughts and feelings happen at random," said Andrew Arrow, creator of CBTReferee. "As a result, I decided to build a simple app for my own use. Finding it personally effective, I decided to put it in the app store, not really knowing if it would be useful for others."
The feedback he received convinced him otherwise: CBTReferee sales, he says, "have been increasing on a weekly basis, and based on its reviews, has provided some real value to its users." Which is, of course, all to the good.

"CBTReferee can be activated on the user's phone whenever and wherever a negative thought occurs," company officials say, explaining that the three steps deliver Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a structured manner:

The user types out the negative thought. The next screen provides a list of ten potential fallacies that are possibly present in the statement, such as Nothing or All (black and white thinking where one small flaw kills an entire concept), Conclusion Jumping (assuming facts that don't exist), Emotions as Evidence (assuming that if you feel a certain way, it must be true) and others. Users scroll through the list and select the fallacies that apply to their negative statement.

Then the user is presented with a type-in screen titled "Referee Says." On this screen, based on the statement and the fallacies chosen, the user is prompted to type in an objective assessment to negate the negative statement. The app also keeps a "thought record" allowing users to reference previous thoughts and notice patterns in the way that they think.

And hey -- it's only five bucks. No negative thoughts there.

IPOWOW!, a developer and service provider of market research tools for gathering viewer opinion through online video, has struck a partnership with Digital College Network, a media company specializing in advertising signage in college-based retail environments.

Beginning this week, DCN will incorporate iPOWOW!'s survey interface into videos on DCNLive.com, a site described by iPOWOW officials as "exclusive to the college community," to collect real-time data and feedback for their upcoming spring break events.
DCN broadcasts original content created by students and professionals in five channels: Music, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Sports and All College. The network also encourages students to opt into a mobile platform, which can be used by advertisers to provide coupons or gather data.
Students are also directed to DCNLive.com, where they can view and upload videos, play games, enter contests and share information with other students.
IPOWOW!-enabled videos will "create polling opportunities and gather live audience opinion," providing the sort of data treasured by major advertising brands. They will also be used in DCN broadcasts to digital signs across their network of campus bookstores, collecting student survey and focus group results.

DCN is a North American collegiate digital network airing user-generated content from colleges and universities around the country, reaching over 4.3 million college students, faculty and alumni every month in more than 300 locations, according to company claims.

Company founder Gary Davis says their relationship with DCN "will enable brands to optimize their engagement with college viewers, an audience that is highly digital. Whether in dorms, on their mobile phones or in the campus bookstores, advertisers will be able to reach this key demographic."

"We're always looking for ways to help our advertisers get the most out of their outreach," said Chris Esposito, president and chief executive officer of DCN.

Given Argentina's soaring mobile and pay-TV penetration, the country still has not seen the same level of development in converged and bundled offers than in other markets in the region as regulators continue to block competition, according to the latest report from Pyramid Research, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network.
Mobile penetration in Argentina is estimated at 120 percent at year-end 2009, compared with 89 percent for the region as a whole, while its pay-TV penetration, at 64 percent of households, is among the highest in the world, notes Luis Portela, Analyst at Pyramid Research and co-author of the report.

"Argentina: Regulators Block Competition in Key Telecom Sectors" offers a profile of the country's converged telecommunications, media, and technology sectors based on proprietary data from research in the Argentinean market.
The 30-page report provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services, and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies, such as WiMax, IPTV, and VoIP.
It provides a view of the Argentinean communications market by analyzing key trends, evaluating near-term opportunities, and assessing upcoming risks factors. Download an excerpt from the Web site.

"The number of double-play connections will continue to increase over the forecast period at a 3.2 percent CAGR through 2014, and triple-play connections will expand nine-fold over the same period," says Portela, "but the latter could expand even faster if telecom and cable companies manage to find an agreement with the regulator over pay-TV and voice service provision."
The high pay-TV penetration in Argentina, the report finds, would make it ripe for multiplay offerings, however, "regulations preventing operators from offering IPTV and VoIP services mean that the Argentinean multiplay market is not as developed as it could be."

From a service revenue perspective, mobile broadband Internet access is one of the most promising. "Mobile operators are increasingly focusing on this application as the killer application for its 3G network, translating into an estimated 59 percent CAGR over the forecast period, to reach $343 million by 2014," says Portela.
With mobile operators competing for 3G value-added services, near-term mobile capex spending will be driven mainly by continuous network expansion, capacity increases and upgrades to new technologies, such as mobile broadband technologies -- UMTS/HSPA, Portela thinks: "Also, if the regulator allows telecom companies to offer pay-TV services, opportunities in IPTV may arise with Telecom and Telefonica."

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