Today O2 opened the ‘50 to Watch in Mobile’ 2007 search, which identifies the brightest firms in the British mobile industry. Compiled in conjunction with Real Business magazine, the independent list will not only reveal the vibrant and innovative companies that are shaping the future of the UK mobile industry, but uncover those entrepreneurs succeeding on an international scale. For the first time, companies have the option to self nominate in categories which include ‘Most Exciting Newcomer’, ‘Fastest Growing’ and ‘Women achieving success in mobile’. Hardware designers and manufacturers, software and mobile services providers are all eligible to enter. See www.50toWatchinMobile.com for entry details. Mark Stansfeld, O2 Sales & Retail Director (UK), comments: “The mobile sector continues to grow from strength to strength and the industry now generates a massive £22 billion and creates a wealth of new job opportunities. At O2, we are keen to celebrate those British companies who are contributing to this success and using mobile technologies in a new way. In the last 50 to Watch listing, companies profiled ranged from Opera Telecom, the UK’s leading aggregator, to Re5ult, which offers consumers a text-based question and answer service. These companies reflect the diversity and flair behind the mobile sector which now contributes more revenue to the UK economy that the total oil and gas extraction industries.” The continued success and growth of those profiled in the ‘Real Business/ O2 50 to Watch in Mobile’ 2005 is highlighted by SpinVox, the world’s first voicemail-to-text service for mobile and landline phones, which received significant funding after the announcement. Christina Domecq, the co-founder of SpinVox and serial entrepreneur, comments: “It was a great achievement to be recognised by the industry as one of the 50 most exciting companies to watch for 2006, especially in a sector such as mobile which continues to thrive in the UK. Since being profiled SpinVox has gone from strength to strength; we now have over 120,000 users and are rolling out with major network operators next year.” In addition to SpinVox, Wyless Plc, the machine to machine (M2M) Mobile Network Operator, also featured in the ‘Real Business/ O2 50 to Watch in Mobile’, has reported expansion in 2006. The company has grown 20 times compared with 2004/5 and reported a 28% revenue increase in Q2 over Q1. Charles Orton-Jones, Deputy Editor, Real Business, which will publish the ‘50 to Watch in Mobile’ in its February 2007 edition, says: “We want to recognise the new arrivals on the mobile scene, with a sound future and a certain X-factor that sets them apart from their peers. This year, we will be celebrating everything from British businesses achieving success internationally to female entrepreneurs making their mark on the industry. We look forward to hearing from the next generation of mobile talent who display the cutting edge innovation, creative vision and drive to succeed in such a competitive industry.” The closing date for nominations for the 2007 ‘Real Business/ O2 50 to Watch in Mobile’ is Monday 6 November 2006. Companies can enter the competition by visiting www.50toWatchinMobile.com. The entrants will be judged by an independent panel of experts including: Mark Stansfeld, UK Sales & Retail Director – O2 Group Technology, Mike Short – Mobile Data Association, Stephen Pritchard, Mobile Editor – Real Business.