The U.K. operation of Vodafone, Europe's biggest wireless-phone operator, is boosting its brand's presence in the music industry with the launch of the Vodafone Live! Music Awards on Oct. 11.

The U.K. operation of Vodafone, Europe's biggest wireless-phone operator, is boosting its brand's presence in the music industry with the launch of the Vodafone Live! Music Awards on Oct. 11.

Taking place at the Roundhouse, a live-entertainment venue in north London, the inaugural multi-stage event will also be televised live on the national Channel 4 TV network. London-based Initial Endemol will produce the program, while Vodafone is handling the promotion.

An estimated 1,200 guests, including music-industry executives, artists and competition winners, will be invited to attend the event. Awards will be handed out for best U.K. live act, best international live act, best tour of the year and best festival.

The ceremony will be part of a three-year campaign to establish the Vodafone brand in the music business. Vodafone started its U.K. mobile music download service in 2004, and has invested in the mobile-ticketing business.

Industry observers also suggest Vodafone may be feeling the heat within the increasingly competitive mobile-music sector from rival O2. O2 clinched the multi-million dollar naming rights to the former Millennium Dome, which will be renamed "The O2" and is scheduled to open as a multi-event and music venue in 2007.

Additionally, Vodafone U.K.'s mobile-ticketing effort has been pushed into gear this year with a series of small regional concerts branded the Vodafone Live! TBA (to be announced) Gigs. The initiative is so called because the spectators, mostly competition winners, are informed of the concerts' location by their mobile handsets just a few days, or even hours, before the show.

The next TBA show will be headlined by British rock band Razorlight on July 12 at an as-yet-undisclosed venue.

The software distributing the m-ticketing barcode is supplied by Edinburgh-based Mobiqa, while the mobile-marketing campaign surrounding the concerts is handled by the U.K. office of Enpocket, the international mobile-marketing agency headquartered in Boston.