In the UK, 3G operator 3, owned by Hutchison, is about to become the world's first operator to sell airtime on its own network to advertisers. Unfortunately the article on Media Guardian (free reg.) doesn't clearly say what exactly 3 is going to do. One possibility is that they will offer free downloadable ads to their clients This idea has already been successfully tested with Apple iPod ads, which generated 160.000 downloads in a week.
Mobile video advertising clearly opens interesting opportunities for viral videos delivered mobile phones, althought pricing and/or the business model still remain a big question to be answered. Who should pay for downloadable mobile ads? Branded content, should be free, but when it comes to mobile phones, free is a word that almost doesn't exist, especially with carriers always wanting to share revenues.