Syntonic CEO Gary Greenbaum was recently invited to provide an address at Tela Viva Móvel, one of Brazil’s most popular and influential conferences focused on the mobile industry. Greenbaum joined speakers from the four the leading mobile carriers in Brazil – Oi, Claro Brasil, Vivo, and TIM Brasil – as well as other leading technology companies serving the industry. The event was hosted by Fernando Paiva, Editor at MobileTime.

Não Fique Para Trás

gary-greenbaum-syntonic-telaviva-movel-brasilGary’s theme for his discussion was “não fique para trás” or “don’t be left behind.”

It’s a call to other participants in the mobile industry – especially the carriers – to not simply be high-powered conduits for other companies that have built massive businesses on their mobile networks.

This is the new “app economy” – an ecosystem built on 4G networks with proven business models around mobile advertising, mobile content, and mobile commerce.

Excerpts and highlights of Gary’s presentation follow.

Who is Syntonic?

Syntonic has created a mobile software and services platform, and our customers span the entirety of the mobile ecosystem including content providers, app developers, agencies and carriers from around the world.

Our platform allows our customer a solution to participate in the $3 trillion “app-economy” dominated by 3 major businesses: mobile advertising, mobile content, and mobile commerce. Up to now, most carriers have been left behind – “ficaram para trás” in their participation of new app-economy revenue streams, instead remaining focused on the status-quo selling of commodity voice, data, and text, along with declining ARPU.

Similarly, many small and mid-sized content providers and brands have been challenged to compete in the app economy against today’s $1T unicorns with the worldwide scale and network effects that have created impenetrable barriers of entry for others.

Syntonic brings an innovative and compelling solution that allows carriers to catch-up and meaningfully participate in this “app economy.” We do so with a solution that spans the entire customer journey with a unified platform for enabling mobile advertising, content monetization, and mobile commerce.

Syntonic has achieved worldwide success with operations and customers across 17 time-zones with many of the world’s largest mobile carriers. We are working with all four major carriers here in Brazil (Oi, TIM Brasil, Claro, and Vivo); and we’ve licensed our technologies to Verizon in the US, Vodacom in Africa, Smart Communications in the Philippines, Mobifone in Vietnam, Indosat in Indonesia, and many others.

To sell into these markets and to support our customers, we have offices in US, Australia, South Africa, India, UK, Germany, and most recently, here in Brazil.


Syntonic Brasil

Through an asset acquisition we did with Zenvia last August, we have established a new operational subsidiary, Syntonic Brasil, with offices in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, that is responsible for the development, operations, support, and customer engagement for our worldwide mobile commerce solution.

We are very excited to be here and to tap into Brazil’s tech talent. Our intention is to make Brazil our Latin American operational hub and center of excellence for further expansion into the continent and beyond; Specifically, we expect through ongoing investment in Brazil, that the tech innovations, current and in the future, will lead to successful products and services both here domestically AND abroad.

4G: Perhaps the Worst Carrier Investment Ever

In order to understand this problem space, I highlight the issue with this graph comparing the mobile economy of worldwide voice, data, and text revenue shown in red with the worldwide app economy revenue shown in gray.


What this shows is that the mobile economy has flat-lined since 2016 at roughly $1.3 trillion, despite an annual $170B spend on network infrastructure. This is a near 0% ROI (return on invested capital) that supports my thesis that history will look back at 4G as one of the worst carrier investments!

Sure, many are thinking that 5G will come to save the day for the carrier industry.

But I ask: Is there a proven carrier business model around IoT, 8K video on a mobile device, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities, and connected cars?

In contrast, the app economy revenue surpassed the mobile economy in 2017 with a +30% CAGR, estimated to be over $3.3 trillion in 2019 or 2.3X larger than the mobile economy!

App Economy Ecosystem

When I talk about app economy ecosystem, it’s largely dominated by the unicorns in three main sectors:

  1. Mobile Advertising
    • Where Google and Facebook own 80% of the $200B annual mobile advertising business
  2. Mobile Content
    • YouTube/Google, Netflix, Spotify
  3. Mobile Commerce
    • Amazon, Uber, Google, Apple

These companies have built their worldwide empires on the backs of the carrier’s $170B annual infrastructure investment. And because of the scale efficiencies of these unicorns and their established network effects, the app-economy has not been democratized for all!

Sure, maybe 5G comes to save the day for mobile ecosystem; however, one thing that I know for sure is that today’s app economy is not going away anytime soon because it’s based on proven and sustainable revenue models, namely mobile advertising, content monetization, and mobile commerce.

Syntonic Revenue Generation Platform

We designed and built our platform to enable these proven business models.

The Syntonic Revenue Generation Platform allows mobile carriers, content providers, agencies, and app publishers a means to participate in this $3.3T app economy.

syntonic-revenue-generation-platformOur Revenue Generation Platform is over-the-top, meaning no major changes are required in the carrier core systems which allows integration to be measured in days, not years. Moreover, the platform brings agility, flexibility, and low friction to develop, create, on-board, and analyze new offers, measured in hours, not quarters!

But that’s not all—our Revenue Generation Platform also enables brands, app publishers, and content providers to not be left behind. You provide the inventory for the carrier, but moreover, we provide you the cross-carrier solution for broad demographic targeting to cost-effectively acquire, engage, and monetize your mobile audience.

What’s truly different about Syntonic is that we have combined these distinct business pillars into a platform that unifies these business models into a single solution. We are the only company that provides a unified solution that allows you the lens into the full customer journey with flexible offer creation and real time analytics to gauge effectiveness of your campaigns.



To make this vision concrete, let me walk through a usage case by one of our mobile carrier customers, MobiFone.

Last month, MobiFone, one of the largest mobile networks in Vietnam with more than 30% market share and approximately 50 million subscribers, launched their new service called mobifoneGo – powered by Syntonic’s Revenue Generation Platform. MobiFone is using the platform today offer content subscriptions that include unlimited data access.

For example, there is a highly-selling “Chat Pass” that includes WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Zalo for a fixed weekly or monthly fee. mobiFoneGo provides the following customer journey to grow ARPU:

  1. First, they re-branded our white-labeled discovery application that provides the subscriber a catalogue of unique content offers. This app is then offered data-free as a means to acquire new customers to the mobifoneGo service.
  2. To promote these offers, MobiFone offers free data access for a limited period of time as a promotion to encourage subscriber engagement.
  3. If the consumer likes the service and is ready to commit, they can purchase a subscription.
  4. The service is billed through our direct carrier billing (DCB) system.

These scenarios represent the full customer journey from awareness, acquisition, engagement, and monetization that ultimately lead to a much higher carrier ARPU.


I specifically selected this example because I’m proud to say that the direct carrier billing (DCB) service uses the mobile commerce platform technologies developed here, by Syntonic Brasil!

These examples represent the first cases, of many more to come, of Syntonic exporting Brazilian-developed technology around the globe.

Don’t Be Left Behind

So if you are a carrier seeking to grow new or enhance existing revenue streams, based on proven business models; OR if you are a brand seeking to compete with the unicorns that dominate the app economy, there is opportunity with Syntonic if you dare not to be left behind.

I look forward to conversations with many of you. If we don’t connect, please reach-out to our Syntonic Brasil team here in Sao Paulo.


Other Notable Speakers at Tela Viva Móvel

Other executives presenting at this year’s Tela Viva Móvel event in Sao Paulo included:

  • fernando-paiva-mobiletime-telavivamovel

    Fernando Paiva, Editor, MobileTime

    Fernando Paiva, editor, MobileTime

  • Diogo Câmara, Director of Products, Mobility and Content, Oi
  • Fernando Moulin, Director of Digital Experience, Vivo
  • Alexandre Dal Forno, Head of IoT Corporate Products, TIM Brasil
  • Leonardo Contrucci, Director of Innovation, Claro Brasil
  • Samuel Gasman, VAS Manager, Nextel
  • Joaquim Venâncio, CEO and Cofounder, Noknox
  • Leo Xavier, CEO, Pontomobi
  • Andreas Blazoudakis, CEO e fundador, Delivery Center

Contact us to learn more about getting into the app economy.