SINGAPORE: M1 users can now track eBay bids on cellphones

M1's tie up with eBay to increase mobile Internet usage in Singapore

The Straits Times
Thursday, August 2, 2007

By Alfred Siew
It is an eBay user's worst nightmare -- stepping out for a quick lunch only to lose an auction for a watch or an iPod in the last minute.

To avoid this, auction hunters can now use their cellphones to keep track of their bids and increase them. MobileOne (M1) launched the service yesterday, a move that could spark higher mobile Internet usage here.

In cellphone-mad Japan, many young people spend hours on their phones, monitoring their bids on online auction websites for anything from dresses to Hello Kitty collectibles.

In Singapore, M1's tie-up with eBay means users will be notified by cellphone if their bid for an item has been topped by someone else. In other words, there is no need to sit by the computer, waiting for updates on-screen.

To log on, users need only to surf to M1's homepage on their cellphone.

The service is free, though the usual cellphone data charges, of 1.07 cents a kilobyte, apply.

But for now there is a small catch. Users can only buy, but not sell, items using their phones.

eBay South-east Asia spokesman Eunice Lim told The Straits Times that the e-auction firm may extend the mobile service to SingTel and StarHub subscribers in future.