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ICSTIS strengthens Committee with commercial expertise

19 May 2005


For Immediate Release – Thursday 19 May 2005.

ICSTIS strengthens Committee with commercial expertise.

ICSTIS, the premium rate services regulator, today announced the appointment of three new members to its Committee. The appointment of the new members, who bring with them commercial expertise drawn from the premium rate sector, forms a vital part of the governance changes that ICSTIS announced in late 2004. The new members will take up their positions in June 2005.


For Immediate Release – Thursday 19 May 2005.

ICSTIS strengthens Committee with commercial expertise.

The new members are Edward Boddington, Chief Executive of Harvest Media Group which has significant interests in the area of participation TV, Andrew Bud, Chairman (and co-founder) of mBlox, which is a large aggregator of mobile content services and Mike Short, Vice President – Research, Development and Technology of mobile operator O2. Mike is also Chairman of the Mobile Data Association, a mobile industry trade association and Andrew is Vice Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum, a mobile content and services trade association.

Commenting on the appointments, Sir Peter North, ICSTIS Chairman, said: “We were very impressed by the quality of applications we received for the posts and making our final decision was no easy task. I have no doubts that the additional skills and expertise that Edward, Andrew and Mike will bring will make a significant contribution to the regulation of premium rate services and our role in protecting consumers. We also believe that widening our Committee membership will ensure better ‘buy-in’ from industry to our co-regulatory approach.”

In line with ICSTIS’ governance changes, the new members will play a full part in the policy-making aspects of the work of the Committee. However, in order to ensure that ICSTIS’ independence, a key feature of its model of regulation, is not undermined, only Committee members with no current interests in the premium rate sector will take part in ICSTIS’ adjudicatory functions.

– ENDS –

For further information, contact the ICSTIS Press Office:

Catherine Bell Tel: 020 7940 7464 or cbell@icstis.org.uk

Paul Whiteing Tel: 020 7940 7405 or pwhiteing@icstis.org.uk

NOTES

  • ICSTIS, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, is the industry-funded regulatory body for all premium rate charged telecommunications services.
    We regulate the content, promotion and overall operation of services through our Code of Practice. We investigate complaints, and have the power to fine companies and bar access to services if the Code is breached. We can also bar the individual(s) behind a company from running any other premium rate services under any company name on any telephone network for a defined period.
  • Services are advertised on either 090 dialling codes or, in the case of mobile services, on four or five digit short codes followed by a descriptive key word (for example, 82828 VOTE). In some instances, such as interactive TV where viewers make ‘calls’ using their remote controls, the premium rate number may not be shown. In addition, we regulate all ‘118’ directory enquiry services.
  • Services offer information and entertainment via phone, fax, PC (e-mail, Internet, bulletin board), mobile (SMS/MMS/WAP) or interactive digital TV, and currently vary in cost from 10 pence per call to £1.50 per minute. The money paid by users for services is shared between the telephone company carrying the service and the organisation providing the content. Approximately 40,000 services are in operation at any one time, generating estimated revenue of £1 billion in 2004.


Biographies for Edward Boddington, Andrew Bud and Mike Short:

Edward Boddington is currently founding CEO of Harvest Media Group which has premium telephony interests in the UK, US and Asia. Harvest specialises in interactive TV including voting. It has recently managed ‘The X Factor’ in UK and the first ever series of ‘Indian Idol.’

Edward has 13 years experience in the premium telephony industry both in UK and overseas. His career in the industry began in 1992, joining Legion as UK General Manager. In 1994, he was the founding Managing Director of Greenland Interactive Limited, a joint venture between Legion, Daily Mail and General Trust and Matra Hachette. Greenland grew to be a top 5 service provider. In 1998, he founded Telescope. This company grew to be a significant UK player with record breaking campaigns including ‘Pop Idol,’ before its sale to iTouch plc in 2002.

Andrew Bud is Executive Chairman of the Board of mBlox Inc, the largest premium SMS aggregator in the UK and the US. He co-founded the company in London in 1999 and as CEO built it to become a leading provider of text messaging and billing services. Strategy and public affairs are amongst his current responsibilities. He is also Vice Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the global trade association of the mobile content and services industry. He has been a MEF Board member since 2001, and leads its Regulatory activities.

Mike Short is Vice President R&D, O2 & Chairman, Mobile Data Association. After running Cellnet’s3G business case development (1996-2000), Mike was appointed O2 Vice President - Technology in July 2000. In 2002 his focus moved to EU regulation, including the opening of an O2 Brussels office, and the technical aspects of public policy. Mike’s focus today is on Third Generation cellular Mobile Data services and steering O2 Group Research and Development in Mobile. Mike has chaired the Mobile Data Association since 1998, leading the Association as Chairman/spokesperson and on Regulatory matters. He is also past Chairman of the GSM Association.