As they said they would
As of Monday, 7th of June 2004, Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications, the leading provider of mobile telecommunication services in Greece will begin offering exclusively to the Greek mobile market, i-mode, the world's most popular mobile Internet service. The launch of Cosmote's i-mode comes as a result of the close cooperation with its strategic partner NTT DoCoMo, leading mobile operator in Japan, and following a very successful five year track record with over 42 million i-mode users worldwide.
Cosmote is the first European operator to develop the platform infrastructure and launch i-mode in the record time of just six months, while being the only European operator to offer upon launch the service to all its customers, both contract and prepaid.
Through the offering of its i-mode service, Cosmote enriches its data services portfolio and aims to meet its key strategic objectives:
* pioneer an innovative and unique Internet experience over the mobile phone
* stimulate the use of value added services and subsequently increase ARPU and overall data contribution in revenues
* sustain its flexible and competitive positioning by differentiating from competition
* enhance customer loyalty and sustain market leadership
i-mode is an "excitingly simple" new experience for all, offering Internet services over the mobile phone. i-mode is essentially a very simple and user friendly service that allows customers to easily access, at high speed, an extensive variety of thematic content as well as applications such as e-mail, at very affordable prices while made available on state of the art, easy to use handsets that include the latest features and are provided exclusively by Cosmote. Cosmote's Greek i-mode experience will be soon available to its roaming customers (travelling abroad), as COSMOTE is securing GPRS roaming agreements with European i-mode providers as well as other mobile operators.
i-mode enables Cosmote customers to have access to a colorful and fascinating world of information and entertainment created by the i-mode sites, thanks to its open standard and iHTML language, which facilitates the transfer of existing internet content to the mobile phone, regardless of make or type of handset.
COSMOTE has secured agreements with leading content providers both in Greece and abroad and begins commercial launch with over 100 official Greek and international i-mode sites. Content partners among others include CNN News, the Cartoon Network and in the near future Disney, as well as widely established interactive game developers (including GAMELOFT, NAMCO and I-Fone) well known for very popular games such as PACMAN and TETRIS.
Cosmote plans to continuously enhance the number of available i-mode sites in order to provide its customers with a wide range of content options. Apart from the official i-mode sites, Cosmote customers can access a number of independent i-mode sites, given that the open i-mode architecture provides to all interested parties the opportunity to create their own site and promote it through i-mode. It is worth mentioning that the number of independent i-mode sites worldwide has reached 80,000.
Cosmote customers can access the i-mode sites by entering the portal through the i-menu, the main service menu, with just the touch of the yellow-colored key on their Cosmote i-mode handset.
Cosmote customers through i-mode can, among others, get informed about the latest news, check out travel information and make ticket and hotel reservations, play their favorite games, go on-line shopping, plan their evening out by making reservation at their favorite restaurant, personalize their handsets by downloading ringtones, check their daily horoscope, realize banking transactions, choose a film at the nearest film theatre or get an update on the stock market. In addition, they can send and receive e-mails of up to 4,000 characters, attach pictures, sounds or videos and send them to an i-mode or MMS enabled handset, to a PC or to any other e-address.
Cosmote i-menu includes the following 14 thematic content categories:
1. News / Weather
4. Mobile banking
5. Maps & Info
7. Lifestyle / Showbiz
8. Astrology / Humor
10. Images & Cartoons
12. Travel / Reservations
13. On line shopping
14. Chat & Date
Cosmote becomes the first European operator to offer upon launch 4 different highly innovative and easy to use, handsets. The newly introduced i-mode™ handsets include the latest features such as 65K color screens with high picture resolution, an integrated camera, enhanced user memory and all this at a very attractive price, ranging from € 155 to € 335 (wholesale price, excluding VAT). More specifically, Cosmote brings exclusively to its customers the NEC N 331i, NEC N 400i, NEC N 410i and the Panasonic P 341i and becomes the first to introduce NEC, the leading handset manufacturer in Japan, to the Greek mobile market.
The "excitingly simple" world of i-mode succeeds in combining high quality services at affordable prices. More specifically, Cosmote customers do not pay for activating or subscribing to i-mode but only pay for using the service and not for accessing it. Usage of i-mode (including cost of navigation of the portal, and of all official and independent sites and e-mail) is charged with 1 eurocent/KB, while Cosmote customers only pay for the quantity of data received or sent and not for the time spent connected. The browsing of every official i-mode™ site consists of both free and paid content with a monthly subscription ranging from € 0 up to € 3. Independent sites have no monthly subscription and charging only includes browsing based on the data sent or received.
Cosmote will be offering i-mode to all its customers completely free of charge (without monthly subscriptions to all official sites and no charge for any data sent or received) from June 7th until July 15th 2004. i-mode will be available from all Cosmote exclusive shops as well as through Cosmote's extensive distribution network.
Cosmote CEO, Mr. Evangelos Martigopoulos, commented: "After just only six months since taking up the project, Cosmote fulfils its promise to exclusively provide to all its customers an exciting mobile Internet world. We are very pleased with the outcome as not only did we accomplish to launch the service in the shortest time, but also succeeded in becoming the only European operator to offer the service simultaneously to both contract and prepaid customers and through a wide range of available handsets. Cosmote, its customers and the content providers are all part of the very appealing i-mode ecosystem: Customers can easily enjoy a diverse range of affordable and high quality services, content providers are encouraged to develop content in a competitive environment and Cosmote comes closer to realizing its key strategic goals. We are under intense preparation for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games during which we aim to provide, through i-mode a new and captivating user experience. The new experience is called i-mode and it's excitingly simple.”