Ad-Funded Blyk To Launch In India

The UK's ad-funded, youth targeted mobile service provider Blyk is bringing its model of free talk-time and texts in return for viewing advertising to India. reports that senior level recruitment is already underway, according to an unnamed source who was approached for a job at the new operation.

Blyk spokesperson Ann Sarimo confirmed that Blyk plans on entering the Indian market, but declined to comment on timing. After signing up some 200,000 customers in the UK, the only country in which it is operational, it appears that Blyk, which was started by ex-Nokia (NYSE: NOK) president Pekka Ala-Pietilä, and funded by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Sofinnova Partners, has hit a wall.

It reiterated a few weeks ago that it was shifting strategy, calling its UK operations, a "proof of concept," and saying that it was looking to partner with carriers, rather than build their own service country by country as originally planned.

Can the Blyk model succeed in India? No word on which Indian carrier Blyk may have partnered with. But it seems that some think it could work. Sanjay Behl, head of branding and marketing operations at Indian carrier Reliance Communications Ltd, told, "The model looks like a win-win for all stakeholders?cellular operators, customers and then advertisers.

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