Uncontrolled roaming gifts revenue to rivals, says Roamware

Global roaming calls on mobile networks could now be worth in the region of $50 billion annually according to roaming specialists Roamware Inc.  But, the company says, operators who are not tuned into the potential of controlled roaming are gifting revenue to rival networks.

The last official industry valuation on the roaming market – calls made on networks other than subscribers’ ‘home’ networks –  based on GSM technology, was some four years ago when global GSM subscribers had reached 250million in 140 countries.  The roaming market was estimated to be worth around $12billion annually – a little under ten per cent of the annual market at the time.
 
Today, total global subscribers number more than one billion with global operator revenues from GSM alone forecast to hit $500billion by 2005. 
 
Roamware CEO John Hoffman, says the figures add up to big business for wireless operators.
 
"Whichever way you cut the cake the cake – roaming has become a huge global business for the operators. If we assume the growth rate for roaming has matched subscriber and revenue expansion then we are looking at a business opportunity worth in the region of $50billion annually.
 
"Mobile phone network operators that do not give roaming subscribers their full attention are potentially losing out," adds Hoffman. "And it’s not about getting subscribers to spend more, it’s about getting them to stick to the right partner networks, and to be able to use the same services when they roam that they use when at home. Roaming is no longer about the availability of service, it’s about the capability of the services you can access when you roam. 
 
"Properly served roaming subscribers make more use of their phone, and the savvy home network operators get the partner revenue – instead of gifting it to a rival network through random roaming."
 
With the implementation of enabling technologies for data, roaming services have entered a new era. Providing transparent access may prove to be the difference between success and failure in terms of revenue generation.
 
But Hoffman is also clear about the benefits to the subscriber.
 
"When I find a network that has implemented the ability for me to mirror my home environment, I willingly utilise the services.  I am pleased that my phone remains a powerhouse communications tool and I use it more frequently – I can also benefit from competitive prices because I have been roaming on a partner or associate network.
 
"And while I may spend more overall, I am also happier because I get more done – everybody wins."

Under a more than USD 350 million frame agreement with major Russian operator MegaFon, Nokia is supplying GSM/GPRS equipment for the expansion of MegaFon's GSM network, enabling advanced mobile data services. Deliveries have already begun and the expansion will enable MegaFon to cope with rapidly increasing subscriber growth.

"We are happy to continue to work closely with such a leading vendor as Nokia which time and again has proved its abilities to deliver and implement and care for state-of-the-art technologies, services and solutions, enabling us to offer our customers the best mobile services," says Sergey Soldatenkov, General Director, MegaFon. 
 
"The Russian market is extremely important for Nokia and we are pleased to extend our strategical cooperation with MegaFon, one of the leading players in this rapidly growing mobile arena," says Jonathan Sparrow, General Director, Networks, Nokia, Russia.
 
"A further demonstration of our commitment to the Russian market is the increased service support capabilities in the regions where we work with MegaFon," he adds.
 
Under the agreement Nokia is supplying GSM/GPRS core and radio equipment. The frame includes also Nokia NetActä Operating Support System (OSS), which provides operational efficiencies and OPEX savings while operating and maintaining MegaFon's GSM, GPRS and Cellular Transmission networks. The very same OSS platform also provides support for the future technologies and services like EDGE and WCDMA. Under the agreement Nokia is also supplying a range of services including Project Management, installation and relocation services for fast ramp up of the solution and Care Services, including Emergency Service, Software Maintenance and training services to keep the solution running at peak performance.
                      
OAO MegaFon is the first Russian nationwide mobile communication operator of GSM 900/1800 standard. Founded in May 2002, as a result of renaming and changing of organizational and legal status of ZAO North-Western GSM and uniting of regional operators of ZAO Sonic Duo (Moscow), ZAO Mobicom-Kavkaz, ZAO Mobicom-Center, ZAO Mobicom-Novosibirsk, ZAO Mobicom-Khabarovsk, ZAO Mobicom-Kirov, OAO MSS-Povolzhye, ZAO Volzhsky GSM and ZAO Uralsky GSM. The Company's major shareholders are OAO Telecominvest, OOO CT-Mobile, Sonera (Finland) and Telia (Sweden). The license area of OAO MegFon covers 100% of the territory of Russia - 89 regions of the Russian Federation with the population of 147 million. Currently the total number of the Company's customers is exceeding 8.6 million.
 
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people's lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use and secure products like mobile phones, and solutions for imaging, games, media, mobile network operators and businesses. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges.

NEC Corporation and its subsidiary NEC Italia s.r.l has announced the delivery of its Mobile Internet Platform and mobile handsets to COSMOTE Mobile Telecommunications S.A.'s "i-mode?" service, which will be provided commercially, with an initial free period, from June 7th 2004. NEC has achieved rapid implementation in cooperation with COSMOTE so that the i-mode service can be launched well in advance of the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games, of which COSMOTE is a Grand National Sponsor.

COSMOTE is the leading and largest mobile operator in Greece, a top-class mobile market with high cellular user penetration. COSMOTE plans to gradually introduce i-mode services in other markets such as Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

NEC's highly reliable Mobile Internet Platform is an enabler for the provision of i-mode service, one of the world's leading and most advanced Mobile Internet Services, is now available in Greece. This platform is an integrated solution that realizes unified operations and service management, composed of well-integrated subsystems. One of these is a gateway that enables COSMOTE's customers to gain easy, quick and secure access to the large variety of rich content offered by i-mode service on GPRS mobile packet networks. A mail subsystem enables customers to enjoy functional i-mode mail services with video and picture attachments. A portal subsystem shows service menus and membership content menus on each mobile terminal. The platform offers complete management of user information, content and services information, agent charging and billing (including real-time for pre-paid) in addition to flexible support of new features to be released in future.

NEC's i-mode mobile handset "N410i" is compact and striking with a full-scale 1.3M Pixel integrated camera which enables users to take rich pictures. The N410i also features a 2.2 inch 65K color QVGA main LCD display, not only for high-resolution pictures but also for MPEG4 movies. Developed based on expertise gained from the Mobile Internet markets in Japan and Europe, the N410 is very suitable for accessing mobile Internet applications and rich content, comprising 64 tone polyphonic ringtones, DoJa JAVA Applications and USB & IrDA Connectivity. NEC also provides the "N331i" with 100K Pixel  integrated camera and "N400i" with 300K Pixel integrated camera and an MPEG4 player.

To provide attractive Mobile Internet services for both 2.5 and 3G, NEC is to expand their Mobile Multimedia Platform business, targeting operators in Europe and further afield who wish to enhance customer satisfaction and increase revenue. NEC plans to add to their Mobile Applications line-up and aspires to gaining the leading position in the Mobile Internet market. As a total solution provider for Mobile Internet solutions, NEC has strong competence in mobile infrastructure systems, mobile application platforms, and an impressive portfolio of content and competitive i-mode mobile handsets. Worldwide, NEC's Mobile Internet Platform is currently operated by Wind in Italy, Telefonica Moviles Espana, Bouygues Telecom in France and Taiwan Far EasTone Telecommunications.

Mobileway, the global leader in mobile messaging, marketing and entertainment, announces the launch of a new application My-Toons that lets mobile users personalise their mobile in a new different and fun way.

With My-Toons mobile users themselves become the star of their own mobile phone screen in just a couple of clicks. Already two of the major web portals in France have adopted this application. My Toons lets you:
1. personalise your screensaver
2. turn yourself into a cartoon
3. share your favourite photos amongst your friends

Personalised Screen Saver - lets the mobile user insert his/her own picture into a screen saver. The mobile user can upload his/her own picture on to a portal or select a picture from a selection and they can then download it from the portal onto their mobile and insert it into their screen saver. They can select a screen saver from several different categories: e.g. sports, entertainment, heroes, greetings cards etc. Why not create a screensaver with you dressed as Superman?

Mobile Cartoon - You can't fly? You can now with "Mobile Cartoon", this lets users animate a picture and save it to their screen. See yourself dressed as Superman and flying!

Photo sharing - now you can download your favourite pictures from the website onto your mobile and then share them with your friends.

Cédric Bassaget, Sales Director France at Mobileway said: "My-Toons is the first application on the market which goes beyond the typical mobile personalisation product as it's now possible not only to insert your own picture but also to animate it."

He adds, "This application lets the user truly personalise their mobile. This service is just the first step of what lies ahead. Indeed the mobile user will now become more and more involved in the personalisation of their own mobile."

My-Toons works with any type of mobile phone with a colour screen that allows image download via WAP or MMS. Prices are 2,50 € TTC per download for "Personalised Screen Saver" and "Mobile Cartoon" and 2,60 € TTC, per download for the "Photo Sharing" plus WAP connection costs. Mobile users are billed via Premium SMS or IVR.

New BREW-based application that allows users to communicate through "Talking Heads" makes appearance at the BREW 2004 Developers Conference

Anthropics Technology, a privately-held mobile software development company, today announced FaceWave Messaging, the first BREW-based application that enables users to create their own "talking head" video messages simply by speaking into their phone.

The FaceWave Messaging application lets users create, send and receive their own animated and imaginative video messages through BREW-enabled handsets.  Once the application has been downloaded wirelessly, users choose from a large library of cartoon characters, animals, personalities or even inanimate objects and then animate them by simply speaking into their phone. On the receiving end, the user's voice animates the selected "face," bringing it to life with real expression and emotion.  FaceWave is ideal for sending greetings, telling jokes and other personal messages.   

"The BREW solution is the perfect vehicle to develop and deliver FaceWave Messaging to millions of mobile subscribers around the globe," said Andrew Berend, CEO, Anthropics. "The BREW version of Facewave delivers messages with high quality images in a small file size.  Our technology humanizes mobile communication in a way that's never been done before."

"QUALCOMM is pleased to be working with Anthropics in bringing this innovative and dynamic application to life," said Mike Yuen, director of BREW Developer Relations for QUALCOMM Internet Services.  "The BREW solution facilitates the development and implementation of applications that enable companies such as Anthropics to take wireless applications to a whole new level."

QUALCOMM's BREW solution provides products and services that connect the mobile marketplace value chain, which includes publishers, application developers, content providers, device manufacturers, operators and consumers.

Cross network, wholesale MMS extends mobile marketing opportunities

In a move that will open up the MMS market to brands looking to extend their mobile marketing presence, Netsize has been selected as a preferred partner in the launch of O2's cross-network wholesale MMS offering.     

MMS, also referred to commonly as picture messaging, delivers a total communication experience, allowing personalised multimedia content such as images, audio, text, video and combinations of these, to be delivered on a compatible mobile phone.

O2's wholesale MMS service is the first of its kind in the UK and will provide companies with a cross-network channel to deliver rich media mobile campaigns and content to consumers.

"O2 and Netsize have worked together for several years in jointly delivering SMS services and we are sure Netsize will repeat its success in the MMS arena," commented Sandy Ryrie, Head of Messaging O2. "O2 continues to build on its policy of developing and strengthening the mobile data market by partnering with specialist service providers such as Netsize.  Netsize's international experience and customer portfolio of leading brands puts it in a strong place to make the most of the opportunities presented by MMS."

"The success of wholesale SMS is well documented," explains Paul Naldrett, Country Manager at Netsize. "Increasing numbers of organisations now treat the mobile channel as a serious element of the marketing mix, with response rates far higher than many traditional forms of marketing and advertising. MMS takes this to the next level, adding rich media functionality to an already powerful technology. There are significant branding and revenue opportunities available to those companies ready to create innovative campaigns that really leverage MMS values."

The opportunities for companies to use MMS to communicate with their audiences are still being explored and extend across broadcasting, media, corporate and even the public sector.

The service is available now and covers all UK networks (except for 3). Netsize's portfolio of both SMS and MMS services comprises complete content hosting, delivery and billing. Further information about the opportunities for MMS are available in the recently published Netsize guide 'Developing the Multimedia Mobile Market'. The guide is available for download at www.netsize.com

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
2.    Finance
3.    Sports
4.    Mobile banking
5.    Maps & Info
6.    Entertainment
7.    Lifestyle / Showbiz
8.    Astrology / Humor
9.    Ringtones
10.    Images & Cartoons
11.    Games
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.”


External Links

Cosmote

"Top ten" in mobile phone sales at Telia's retail stores

At Telia's retail outlets in Sweden, the Nokia 3310 - a mobile phone with prepaid card (Telia Refill) that sold well already in April - was the best-selling handset for the month of May, capturing first place. Total sales of mobile handsets shot up sharply in May. Compared with the 2003, handset sales were 25 percent higher in May 2004.

The winner in April, the Samsung SGH-E700, is still selling well and was the second best-selling phone in May. Sony Ericsson's shipments of mobile handsets started to come in more smoothly during the period. Their Z600 model is the handset that has climbed the sales list the fastest, going straight to fifth place. Other fast-climbing models are the Nokia 6220 and the Sony Ericsson T610. Because Sony Ericsson models have been in such demand, it is not possible to compare May sales of Nokia handsets with April.

Telia, with 74 stores, is the largest retail chain in Sweden for telecom products and is one of Sweden's largest resellers of mobile phones.

May April           Handset       
 
1    2           Nokia 3310   
2    1           Samsung SGH-E700   
3    3           Siemens A52   
4    7           Sony Ericsson T610   
5    New         Sony Ericsson Z600   
6    5           Sony Ericsson T630   
7    New         Nokia 6220   
9    6           Nokia 5100   
10     9          Nokia 3510i   

External Links

TeliaSonera

M-Systems meets demand for reliable, ultra high-performance on-board memory within the industry's smallest package

M-Systems is meeting the demand for increased memory performance for mobile and embedded products with DiskOnChip P3, the world's smallest 32-megabyte flash disk.

DiskOnChip P3 builds upon the Company's innovative x2 technology, incorporated into products utilized by five of the top six handset facturers and two of the top three makers of personal data assistants (PDAs).

"M-Systems' x2 technology was developed to enable the practical use of state-of-the-art NAND flash silicon and endow it with high levels of reliability, performance and power-saving features.  With x2 technology, DiskOnChip P3 offers extremely high performance for on-board multimedia storage," said  David Tolub, vice president and co-manager of M-Systems'
DiskOnChip business unit.

Performance:  DiskOnChip P3 delivers industry-leading performance with a burst mode read speed of 80MB per second (5MB per second sustained) and write speed of 2.5MB per second. "The high rates of performance available with DiskOnChip P3 contribute to an ultimate user experience within high-end devices offering the most advanced multimedia capabilities," said Tolub.

Proven Reliability:  The integrity of stored data is protected with reliability enhancement features including a newly developed bad-block handling mechanism, 5-bit  error-detection code (EDC) and 4-bit error-correction code (ECC).  Combined within DiskOnChip P3, these features
contribute to industry-leading rates of reliability that help to extend product life and prevent crashes, loss of data and other malfunctions. Each chip is further protected with a unique ID, a one-time programming (OTP) area, hardware protection and a sticky lock.

Power-savings: The active current of DiskOnChip P3 is only 10mA. Additionally, to enable increased battery life for handheld and other devices, DiskOnChip P3 offers a deep power-down mode for low, 10µA power consumption. In addition to a 7x10x1.2mm FBGA package, DiskOnChip P3 is
available in a standard 12x20 mm TSOP-I package.  Based on Toshiba's 0.13-micron process NAND flash silicon, both versions of DiskOnChip P3 have a 16-bit interface and an internal 32-bit bus (with parallel multi-plane access) and offer a clear upgrade path to M-Systems' 64MB DiskOnChip product
line.

External Links

M-Systems

Intec Telecom Systems announced today that it has conditionally agreed with ADC Telecommunications, to acquire its 'Singl.eView' retail billing software division for $74.5 million. The award-winning Singl.eView product line, which is widely regarded to be one of the top retail billing solutions available, has over 70 Tier 1 and Tier 2 carrier clients

Intec is already a significant participant in two of the key OSS sectors, inter-carrier billing and convergent mediation, and the addition of a strong capability in retail/transactional billing will substantially extend Intec's ability to supply its carrier customers with the main operational systems required by telecommunications companies. The retail billing market is approximately the same size as all other sectors of the OSS industry put together, and the largest OSS contracts are signed in this area.

Commenting on the Acquisition, Intec Executive Chairman Mike Frayne said, "This acquisition will place Intec in the top tier of global OSS vendors, with the scale, customer base, and product set to compete on equal terms for the largest billing and OSS contracts in the market. Intec currently has strong contract momentum in its core OSS business, and the acquisition of one of the industry's most recognized retail billing companies will increase our presence in the largest, most influential telecom software market."

Intec CEO Kevin Adams added, "As a consequence of this transaction, Intec will be a leading OSS products company with over 450 customers and 600 installations, and a broad, technically advanced OSS product offering. Singl.eView is an award-winning product that fits logically into our current OSS architecture and allows us to substantially broaden our offering to customers worldwide."

The Acquisition is to be part-financed by a vendor placement of approximately 60.3 million Intec shares to existing shareholder General Atlantic Partners (GA), increasing its holding to approximately 25.6%. The Acquisition is subject to Intec shareholders' approval at an EGM.

Intec believes that the Acquisition is an important opportunity for the Company to deliver on its stated long-term strategy of good-value acquisitions of complementary OSS product businesses. Specifically the Board believes that the Acquisition will provide Intec with:

A technically strong, market-proven retail/transactional billing system which has been the subject of a sustained, high level of investment in recent periods and is able to address all present and foreseeable market requirements in its current form;
Additional capabilities, presence and scale to address the most demanding Tier 1 carrier requirements for OSS technology;
Immediate high-level entrance to the important OSS market of retail billing/transaction management;
Ownership of an award-winning product suite built with modern technologies, which is proven to be interoperable in customer sites with existing Intec offerings;
Substantially increased revenues for the enlarged group: based on unaudited financial statements for the two most recently reported quarters, annualized revenues for the combined group would increase by over 50% on a pro forma basis;
Over 70 Tier 1 and Tier 2 carrier clients in 17 countries;
The opportunity to cross-sell both Singl.eView and Intec OSS products to current customers of both companies. More than ten high-profile clients currently operate both Singl.eView and Intec products together;
An experienced and proven management and professional staff team of over 640 people with excellent skills in developing, selling and implementing complex, high-value retail billing systems worldwide;
A greatly enlarged professional services team, giving Intec a much increased ability to implement large OSS projects on a global basis. Singl.eView currently has over 400 professional services staff compared to approximately 250 within Intec;
Productive relationships with several key integrators in the telecom business, including Accenture, IBM, and EDS
Offices in a combined total of 27 locations which will increase Intec's distribution and delivery capabilities to some important markets, including North America and Australia.

René Kern, a general partner at GA and prospective director of Intec, said, "We are delighted to increase our ownership in Intec significantly. Intec has established a strong track record of growth in a challenging market environment. As the telecommunications industry rebounds, Intec is well-positioned in providing mission critical software applications to the telecommunications sector. We have confidence in management's ability to integrate the Singl.eView business rapidly and look forward to supporting management in their continued plans for growth."

External Links

ADC
Intec

Viral text service kicks off with one million free messages
campaign

Bango has launched its new 'Send to a Friend' service that allows
content providers to generate more revenues from their mobile Internet sites through viral marketing. The Bango service provides a quick and easy way for users to recommend a site to other people on any network, in any country.

If users are enthusiastic about a mobile site and want to share it with their friends, they simply click a 'tell your friends about this site' link and enter the mobile phone number of the person they want to tell. Bango then automatically sends a text message containing the site details together with a link that automatically connects the user to the site.

To launch the new service from 7th June Bango is giving content providers one million free text messages to encourage visitors to their sites to use the service.

"It is every marketer's dream to emulate the success of The Blair Witch Project and Friends Reunited on the Internet, through users spreading e word far and wide," commented Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango. "Bango's new 'Send to a Friend' service makes this possible on the Mobile Internet for the first time. To take part in what we believe is the biggest ever mobile Internet marketing campaign, Bango content providers
simply need to add the 'Send to a Friend' link to their WAP site."

External Links

Bango

Stream announces partnership with myMovies to launch Go!Movies mobile film club

Stream Group plc today launched Go!Movies, a mobile film club that allows GPRS-enabled mobile phone users to view film clips and trailers on their mobile handsets.  The club is being launched through a new partnership with MyMovies, the online movie information service that has relationships with all the UK's film distributors. Go!Movies launches today with preview clips of Summer blockbusters "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Troy".  It will provide content from all other major releases moving forward. 

The launch is being marked by a free trial until 12th June, designed to drive subscriptions.  After the trial the service will be available for a monthly subscription of £3 or on a pay-per-view basis for 50 pence per clip, with some clips always available for free.  To join the club phone users simply text the word "movies" to shortcode 82020.  Initially being launched in the UK, Stream plans to roll the service out to a number of other countries during the course of the year.

Stream has pioneered video streaming via GPRS, which brings video capabilities to mobile owners on their current phones, without having to move to 3G. Over the past nine months Stream has built a customer base of more than 300,000 people in the UK alone who now have Stream's video software installed on their phones.

Gordon Robson, executive chairman at Stream explained, "This partnership is a major step forward for the emerging mobile content industry.  The latest movie clips will be instantly available to millions of people in the UK, introducing mobile owners to an exciting new world of mobile entertainment.  Our technology is revolutionary, making services that are seen as the lynchpin of the 3G movement available over today's GPRS networks."

Dennis Edmonds, CEO of MyMovies commented, "We are delighted to form this relationship, which brings together the leading players in our respective fields.  So far the Internet has been a very popular medium for people to view movie clips and we now fully expect to see that success being repeated on mobile phones."

External Links

Stream Group

Contract worth over 300 million Euros

Italian telecom operator Wind has named the mobile communication group at Siemens AG (Siemens mobile for short) as one of the suppliers for its 3G/UMTS network. Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens mobile will supply and install 3G/UMTS network infrastructure and radio base stations. In addition, Siemens will also optimize Wind’s existing mobile network and replace some of its present equipment. The first phase of the agreement will run for three years and involve a total business volume of more than 300 million Euros. Siemens is now supplying three of Italy’s four mobile operators with 3G/UMTS network technology.

This is the third 3G/UMTS contract for Siemens in Italy and the 30th for Siemens mobile worldwide, confirming the company’s leading position in next generation mobile network infrastructure. With a world market share of 23 percent, Siemens numbers among the leading equipment suppliers for 3G/UMTS. In Western Europe, Siemens has received more 3G/UMTS contracts than any other supplier. Furthermore, Siemens is the number one worldwide in terms of network launches. Of the 22 3G/UMTS networks already in operation, 12 were built by Siemens and its partner NEC.

"This latest agreement reinforces our strong number two position in Italy with a 30-percent market share of the mobile network market," said Lothar Pauly, a member of the Siemens mobile Group Board. "In deploying its 3G/UMTS network, Wind can count on the know-how of a partner with a strong Italian presence and leading expertise in 3G/UMTS worldwide."

Siemens mobile’s operations in Italy include a total workforce of more than 2,800 people, as well as two manufacturing facilities and two R&D centers of excellence, with the one in Cinisello Balsamo focusing on 3G/UMTS mobile networks.

With this contract, Siemens is strengthening its partnership with Wind, which dates back to the late 1990s with the installation of Wind’s GSM network. This latest 3G/UMTS contact also includes supply and installation of GSM equipment to complete and augment Wind’s mobile communication infrastructure for 2G services.

External Links

Siemens Mobile
Wind

Give it to us, say European customers

Results of the first European survey to gauge consumer demand for personalised ringback tones reveal they may be the next‘must have’ application for phone users.  Predicted to be a major revenue earner for both network operators and the music  industry, personalised ringback tones allow phone users to  replace the standard ringing sound heard before the call connects with music, comedy or movie clips.

The survey published today by Alatto Technologies shows 37%
of all consumers aged 15-49 would subscribe to the new service. Interest was highest among the 15-24 age bracket with 68% of those willing to pay, prepared to part with between 50 cent and 2 Euro to personalise their handsets.  Content type was also examined in detail. ‘TV and movie themes’ was the most popular overall choice (60%) however pop music (88%) and rock (83%) were most in favour with the youth market. The service was slightly more popular with males (53%) than with females (47%).

“The data suggests ringback tones will be as popular in Europe as they have been in Asia,” said John Whelan, Head of Research at Alatto Technologies. ‘Certainly interest in our solution, vConnect™ has been very strong.  We expect to see network operators in Europe continue to launch throughout the Summer and anticipate the service will be available in Ireland before Christmas.’

SK Telecom who launched ringback tones in Korea in April 2002 has 8 Million subscribers generating more than €9 Million in new revenue each month. In Europe, T Mobil was the first operator to launch in December 2003.  It claims to have more than half a million customers using their “CallerTunes” service www.callertunes.t-mobile.co.uk/ in Germany, the UK and the Czech Republic. And just last week Swedish operator COMVIQ / TELE2 launched their ring back service "ringuppsignaler". www.comviq.se/comviqgolive/

Adam Zawel, Director of Wireless/Mobile Enterprise & Commerce at The Yankee Group welcomed the findings and said "This data confirms the Yankee Group’s opinions on the broad potential of ring back tones. Appetite for the service is not limited to Asia. If European and American carriers can
introduce the services like Alatto's correctly, a significant portion of the population will pay for the service.”

Alatto Technologies are providers of a complete RingBack Tone solution known as vConnect to network operators in Europe. The unique solution from Alatto leverages existing network assets to generate a rapid ROI of typically less
than six months. vConnect includes content management, multiple subscribers, and self-service channels together with innovative service configuration options.

‘If you do the numbers this is set to become a billion euro industry in Europe,’ Alatto’s John Whelan continued.  ‘In the same way we were all taken by surprise by the rapid adoption and commercial success of SMS, the network operators, music content owners and software vendors have an opportunity to
capitalise on the ring back tone phenomenon within the next six months.”

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Alatto Technologies