Opera’s Skyfire launches global version of Horizon browser extension platform for operators

Zero-rating for popular content now available within mobile browser extensions

Opera Skyfire Horizon

Skyfire, a fully-owned subsidiary of Opera Software, today announced a new global version of its popular mobile browser extension platform, Skyfire Horizon, which can be deployed by operators and OEMs around the world on Android smartphones. For operators, this provides innovative tools to better interact with its customers, while offering even more attractive, personalized browsing options to users.

Skyfire Horizon can be preloaded by the operator or downloaded directly by the operator’s customers, who can use it to personalize their mobile browser and gain access to a selection of utilities and HTML5 web apps to make their mobile browsing more social, more fun, and, with this release, access free or sponsored content through zero-rated browser extensions.

Today, Opera works with over 130 mobile operators in more than 70 countries to offer co-branded versions of its popular Opera Mini browser for basic phones and smartphones. These co-branded versions enjoy over 77 million monthly active users. Opera will now offer Skyfire Horizon to its global operator and OEM customers, bringing popular features such as Speed Dial to multiple Android browsers.

Skyfire Horizon is currently live and shipping on new Android smartphones for two tier 1, U.S.-based operators. The new version, Horizon 7.0, has been upgraded to allow a richer, more immersive HTML5 app experience within the browser, as well as being made international-ready for even faster deployment in markets around the world. In addition to popular in-browser extensions such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter and many others, Horizon 7.0 adds multi-language support, the Opera Mobile Store for app recommendations, and Opera’s Discover feature for instant local content discovery.

Operators can leverage Horizon to offer shortcut buttons to their own services (such as customer care and subscription data) and content partners, all in a dynamic way through a cloud-based content management system.

With this new international release, operators can now also offer zero-rating within a particular extension, which allows their customers to use that service – whether a social media, news or sports extension – at no additional cost against their prepaid or postpaid data bundle. This provides operators with the tools to create sponsored and ad-supported experiences easily with publishers and to engage reluctant data consumers with no-risk content.

Just as with the Speed Dial functionality within Opera’s browsers, Horizon also allows for a personalized and value-added experience within the Horizon browser bar. Consumers who opt in are easily able to add new extensions from a curated catalog, remove them, rearrange them, and even create their own extensions from their favorite mobile websites.

“Skyfire Horizon is now a globally-scaled platform that has been made more flexible for the needs of mobile operators and OEMs in international markets,” says Jeff Glueck, EVP, Operator Solutions, Opera Software. “Just as Opera has done for 77 million operator-branded Opera Mini users around the world, our goal is to enable services that users love, in partnership with mobile operators.”

For more information on Skyfire Horizon and to watch a short video, please come to http://business.opera.com/products/skyfire_horizon/.

About Skyfire

Skyfire is dedicated to leveraging the power of cloud computing to radically improve the mobile Internet experience for both operators and their consumers. 

Skyfire’s innovative, next-generation carrier cloud approach to mobile video and data optimization provides wireless operators with huge cost savings, elastic capacity, and the ability to surgically enhance quality of experience on a per-stream level. Skyfire also introduced the first mobile browser extension platform to enable robust contextual & social browsing, as well as enhanced monetization opportunities for operators.

The company currently counts 4 of the largest mobile operators in the world as customers for its Rocket Optimizer™ and Skyfire Horizon™ solutions. 

Skyfire, an Opera Software company, was founded in 2007 and is located in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley.