Mobile News Awards 2011 open

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The Mobile News Awards 2011 launches today with tables going on sale and entries invited for revised Awards categories

The Mobile News Awards 2011 launches today, with tables on sale and awards entries invited.

Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Hilton on Park Lane in London on March 17.

The Mobile News Awards, the premier awards ceremony in the UK industry calendar, have been rev­amped and now include five new categories to reflect the increasing importance of distribution and convergence in the channel.

“We have already had a large number of enquiries about entry dates and table availability, so we’re confident the 2011 will again be a huge success. We’re delighted three previous headline sponsors, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Elite, have again become major partners in the event”, said Mobile News editorial director Ian White.

Entries for the Mobile News Awards 2011 are now being accepted up until the deadline of February 10.

Click here for details of the events, bookings and awards categories

The Mobile News Awards categories have been overhauled for 2011 with five new or modified categories, out of a total of 19, intended to reflect the evolution of the mobile channel.

The five new or modified categories are for Network Operator, Innovative Handset, Vertical Market Solution, Innovative Distributor, and Business Solutions Provider.

The Accessories and Advertising categories have been jettisoned.

The Lifetime Achievement (2010 winner  Tom Alexander) has also been shelved for 2011 as no obvious candidate could be identified.

“These changes in categories are in response to the research that we did into the areas that people felt were most relevant”, said Mobile News editor James Blackman.

“We’ve paid special attention to the convergence and distribution sectors as these are now gaining relevance.”

The category for Vertical Market Solution is aimed at encouraging entries from dealers, resellers and network operators who can best show how they have deployed a bespoke communications solution.

The Best Network Operator category has been expanded from being judged only on Mystery Caller results. It will now also examine network performance, innovation, marketing and partner support.

Individual handsets will be formally judged as a separate Innovative Handset category for the first time. In the past handsets were entered under Innovative Product. But judges felt it was not possible to compare an advanced smartphone with, for example, a broadband dongle.

A new Innovative Distributor category has also been introduced to recognise distributors offering suppliers and customers a distinctive and niche value-added service, which sets it apart from the usual distribution model of pure box-shifting.

Dealers, resellers and service providers who can show success at selling converged solutions will now be able to enter under their own new category of Business Solutions Provider.

Other categories remain unchanged. Handset makers who can demonstrate performance, range, innovation, marketing and partner support can enter Best Manufacturer (2010 winner HTC) as well as Innovative Handset (2010 winner INQ Chat 3G).

The Innovative Product category (2010 winner Novatel Wireless Hotspot) rewards the product felt by the judges to have offered the most appropriate technical advance combined with user benefits.

The Innovative Service category (2010 winner Orange Social Life) is judged on a solution offering that has moved the industry forward and been a commercial success, and should draw attention from unified comms providers who only had the Converged Solution category.

Virtual operators have their own MVNO category in which to describe service offered to a niche market (2010 winner Lebara).

Hardware distributors (2010 winner Data Select, as ‘Handset Distributor’) are invited to submit entries demonstrating supply-chain logistics and fulfilment. Airtime distributors (2010 winner Mainline) will be rated on which have added most value to the offerings of UK network operators.

As in the previous two years no submission is required for Large Retailer. This category will be judged on the results of the Mobile News Mystery Shopper series (2010 winner Orange).

The Online Retailer category (2010 winner phones4u.co.uk) is open to web retailers who demonstrate the best commercial performance and website functionality.

Dealers who can demonstrate customer service are invited to submit an entry for Best B2B Dealer (2010 winner OneStream).

Service and Repair (2010 winner ANOVO) carries on to 2011 and will be given to the logistics organisation with the best performance and achievements in repair and service.

Customer Service (2010 winner Uplands Mobile) is open to customer-facing businesses who can demonstrate their mission statements for customer service and satisfaction.

Environmental Enterprise is directed at any company initiative that shows the best case of ethical business, innovation, and community values (2010 winner Vodafone ‘World of Difference’).

An Industry Advance Award will be presented by the Mobile News editorial team to recognise the organisation, product, or service judged to have most developed the UK sales channel. No entry is required.

The Industry Personality of the Year (2010 winner Mark Mitchinson) will be decided by a live table vote on the night.

Click here for full Mobile News Awards 2011 details

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