Neustar exits mobile IM business with sale to Synchronica


Neustar exists mobile IM business: sells division it bought for $139 million for $250,000

Neustar has sold its mobie IM business, which it calls its Next Generation Messaging business, to Synchronica for $251,000 in cash.

The sale includes 11 carrier and OEM customer contracts, accounts, intellectual property, patents and software, and all other associated assets from Neustar NGM. It comes eight months after Synchronica bought the OMA IMPS assets of Colibria, a company that had previously competed for operator contracts with NeuStar.

Synchronica has also taken on liabilities as part of the deal. Neustar built its NGM business mainly on the acquisition of Followap for $139 million in 2006. Back then, Neustar had plans to build out a range of services based on presence capability and moble IM. It hoped to be able to drive interoperability of IM services through its own interconnect platform. But a marked reluctance of operators to roll out their own mobile IM services, ineroperable or not, has stalled that vision.


Synchronica has been having more success with selling its mobile IM product to operators in emerging markets, and as well as the Colibria acquisition snapped up Canadian firm iseemedia in September 2010.

A Synchronica statement outlined the following:

Acquired Customer Base
Neustar NGM's operator customer base includes eleven contracts with tier one and tier two mobile operators including Vodafone and Optimus (Portugal), SFR (France), Globe (Philipines), TIM (Italy), Turkcell (Turkey), Hutchinson 3 (Hong Kong), Vimpelcom and MegaFon (Russia). The acquired customer base also includes two tier one device manufacturers which are using the Neustar MIM (mobile instant messaging) to provide instant messaging services to end-users.
Synchronica will assume all responsibilities under the existing contracts and intends to provide full support for installations of Neustar NGM products and services to existing operator and device manufacturer customers.
Acquired Products and Services
With the acquisition of the IM assets and liabilities of Neustar NGM's business including its patented technology, Synchronica gains access to the following products and technologies offered to mobile operators and device manufacturers:

Mobile Instant Messaging:
MIM services enable operators to launch both mobile optimized access to established internet IM communities including Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, and Facebook and to build their own IM services
Interconnect: Intercarrier Communications Process (ICP) enables operators to offer their customers instant messaging interconnectivity, enabling users to freely communicate across multiple IM communities, mobile and fixed
Mobile Social Networking: Mobile Messaging Gateway provides operator-branded services that give end-users mobile-optimized access to social networking communities, such as Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, and Vkontakte
Operator Communities: Instant Messaging Service Center (IMSC) and the Presence Server Platform enable subscribers to create customized personal profiles, check whether friends are online and what they are doing, chat in realtime, and share pictures and other media
Rich Communication Suite (RCS): RCS is an initiative led by the Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) with the support of a wide range of operators and vendors. It aims to provide an enhanced communication experience to subscribers through a suite of interoperable and interconnected services and applications. RCS enablers include the Instant Messaging Service Center (IMSC), which provides the enhanced messaging capability, and the Presence Server Platform enabling the Enhanced Address Book
Enhanced Address Book: A key part of the next evolution of communication, the Enhanced Address Book is included not only in RCS services, but also in some of the latest smartphone handsets

Synchronica intends to continue to support Neustar NGM's open standards-based IM technology and plans to integrate key elements of the software into Synchronica's Mobile Gateway product line. To existing customers, Synchronica will propose a roadmap and transition to Synchronica Mobile Gateway, extending the range of services from IM to push email, synchronization, and social networking.

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica, comments: "We are delighted to acquire these assets, further accelerating our business, and cementing our position as the leading provider of next-generation messaging services for mobile operators and device manufacturers. We are looking forward to working with our new customers; Synchronica is committed to continue support for these products and providing a vision and roadmap including synergies with other Synchronica messaging products."