Irish mobile software player in breakthrough deal with China Telecom – 70 new jobs on way

16 Nov 2012

Representatives of China Telecom; Don Corbett, CEO, Live Mobile; and representatives of local Chinese Government Shaanxi Province

Mobile software company Live Mobile – previously known as Mobile Minder, has struck a lucrative deal with one of the world’s biggest mobile operators, China Telecom, that will see the company create 70 new jobs in Ireland and China. The deal will see its cloud service deployed in China to protect millions of children by turning their smartphones in to a child safety device.

The 70 new jobs will be divided between Dublin and Shanghai. About 20 jobs will be based in Ireland in software development and the remaining 50 jobs will be based at the vital Xi’an Hi-tech City outside Shanghai.

The success of Live Mobile is particularly striking as the company is just one year old.

Speaking with, CEO Don Corbett explained that the massive deal, enabled through a local partner in China, came after a number of months of negotiation with China Telecom.

China Telecom is one of the world’s largest mobile operators with a subscriber base of 155m subscribers, and is growing at a rate of 4m subscribers a month.

Funded so far privately to the tune of around €250,000, Live Mobile is a graduate of the DCU Propeller Programme for start-ups.

Corbett and his colleague Brian Shannon have developed a proprietary technology that sits on smartphones and allows parents to make sure their children are both physically and mentally safe from the activities of bullies on the street or cyberbullying via social networks.

china telecom

There are about 160m children between the ages of five and 15 in China, which highlights the massive potential the customised version of Live Mobile’s technology has.

Made up of two parts, the first part of the service is the MobileMinder application which is installed on the child’s smartphone. The second part is the MobileMinder online platform, where parents can protect their child by viewing the child’s phone activity and location.

Included in the technology is a Social Circle feature that provides a parent with a visual display of who their child has relationships with in terms of the contacts in their phone book. It provides a detailed breakdown of interactions so parents are familiar with the contacts.

The Location feature lets parents see where their children are, but also where they’ve been for the previous 24 hours.

Cracking China – Dublin start-up blazes a trail for many others to follow

“China is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, with an estimated 500m devices to be active by the end of 2013,” Corbett explains.

“We develop cutting-edge cloud services for mobile and this deal will see those services available in China for enterprise and consumer markets.”

Corbett expressed his excitement and enthusiasm at growing the Live Mobile brand off the back off such a colossal deal.

“Our progress in China is very gratifying and shows the huge progress our team has made since our inception. It is very important that we keep pushing forward and continue to achieve our goals,” Corbett said.

Corbett explained that the company has had an international strategy from the get-go.

He says the deal will result in a strong revenue line for the company and it is now evaluating venture capital options to accelerate growth in other markets in Europe, Asia and North America.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years