The Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the industry’s leading trade association, today stepped up a gear in its mission to promote the development of the mobile entertainment industry by announcing 18 prominent new members from across the mobile entertainment value chain. The organisation now represents over sixty leading companies and is driving the evolution of mobile entertainment through its European headquarters in London and Americas operation in L.A. 

The new members are: Alcatel, Amplefuture, Beepscience, Buongiorno Vitaminic, Chrysalis Mobile, Cinema Electric, Clicmobile, Craze Productions, Freever, Gameloft, Infomedia, Kayak Interactive, Newbay Software, Openwave, Orange, Tira Wireless, T-Mobile, WAAT Media.

At the same time, the MEF announced its newly elected board, representing leaders from mobile operators, content developers and technology providers. Patrick Parodi, General Manager Europe of PacketVideo Network Solutions, an Alcatel company, was elected the MEF Chair and Andrew Bud, Chairman of mBlox was elected Vice-Chair. The other board members are:

Ralph Simon, MEF Americas Chair; Gilles Babinet, CEO, Musiwave; Charlie Carrington, Head of Industry Development, Vodafone Global Product & Content Services; Ted Cohen, Senior Vice President, D3 - Digital Development & Distribution, EMI Music; Lorane Poersch, CEO, KidsWebTv; Claudia Pöpperl, Head of Business Development Europe, UCP Morgen; Rann Smorodinsky, Co-founder, Cash-U; Anders Unosson, Vice President Applications & Services, Siemens.

“I’m thrilled with the calibre and range of companies and individuals joining MEF including broadcasters, record labels, application developers, media companies and mobile operators.”  says Patrick Parodi, the MEF newly-elected Chair.

 “Mobile entertainment is now a recognised, revenue-generating industry.  Over the course of the next year, I look forward to working with the new Board and growing membership to ensure a healthy growth for the industry.  Through initiatives such as such as mobile music and games charts, mobile content regulation, mobile communities and rights management, the Forum is helping the industry to address its key commercial and content issues while creating membership value.”

External Links


GSMA man appointed chairman of ICRA Board & Executive

The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association representing more than 630 GSM mobile network operators across 200 countries today announced that it has joined the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).

ICRA's Board of Directors has also appointed Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA as Chair of its Board and Executive Committee.

ICRA is an independent, non-profit, organisation working with Internet content providers and other members of the industry to develop a filtering and labelling system that can be used by parents around the world to protect their children from potentially harmful material on the Internet. 

The GSM's commitment to ICRA reflects its growing focus on the challenges and issues surrounding inappropriate content that can be potentially accessed by, or delivered to mobile devices.

"The new generation of mobile devices mean that it is possible to do almost everything on an Internet-enabled phone that can be done from an Internet enabled computer," said Tom Phillips. "Therefore the sharing of experiences on the lessons learned from the fixed Internet will be invaluable to the GSM's global operator community as it strives to create a safer mobile Internet environment."

ICRA's aim is to make content labelling standard for all internet content, so that the public can reliably expect what kind of content web sites offer. In particular, parents are encouraged to use filtering devices, ultimately making the internet a safer place for children. ICRA makes no value
judgement on internet content - it is up to content providers to rate the type of content they display and help protect vulnerable members of society, like children. 

Stephen Balsam, CO, ICRA, said, "The GSM Association's support for ICRA is a key development and a boost our efforts to encourage responsible Internet content access and labelling, helping parents to protect their children from potentially harmful material in the evolving world of mobile

External Links

GSM Association

Telekom Austria has announced the launch of a WLAN pilot project where 26 telephone booths will be converted into wireless broadband internet hot spots providing wireless e-mail and internet access. This follows Telekom Austria's 2003  launch of the "MultimediaStation" - telephone booths with broadband Internet.

With some 23,000 telephone booths throughout Austria, Telekom Austria has the ideal infrastructure for the expansion of hot spot public access points. WLAN radio signals can be received within a radius of up to 100 meters surrounding the telephone booth or other installation locations such as schools. Anyone with a WLAN-capable appliance can easily have free use of broadband internet from the hot spots. A list of hot spot public access points is available at

Rudolf Fischer, COO Wireline at Telekom Austria, said: "There is a growing trend towards the need for increased mobile access to the internet in the residential area, in particular through laptops.  In response to this demand we are piloting wirelessly linked telephone booths - 'AonHotSpots'.  This will be the first time this has been done in Austria."

Telekom Austria's WLAN pilot project is in line with the eEurope action plan and demonstrates  the company's commitment in closing the  'digital divide' - the infrastructure gap between urban and rural populations - via sustainable investments in communication networks.

Telekom Austria's first 26 hot spots in Perg, Upper Austria, were opened with an official celebration on June 9, 2004. Telekom Austria has invested over 135 million Euros in the Upper Austrian telecommunications market in just the past four years. A large part of this went into the expansion of the broadband network with ADSL technology.

Provides operators with a simple, fast, cost-effective and handset-independent means to extend instant messaging services to all subscribers

Axalto has announced the launch of SIMapse – its SIM-based instant messaging application for mobile users. SIMapse from Axalto builds on the growing popularity of Instant Messaging (IM) among Internet users in order to open up a new SMS (short message service) revenue stream for mobile operators.

The SIMapse application combines the widely used SMS channel with a Java SIM-based solution. SIMapse enables mobile users to develop contact lists and receive online alerts about their contacts. At a glance, users know whether their contacts are online or not and can conveniently keep track of their messages as they are received, allowing them to reply instantly.
Online status and presence alerts encourage users to communicate, generating more SMS traffic. SIMapse brings the most popular instant messaging features to all mobile users - one touch log-in and log-out, contact lists with corresponding details, message history, and one-touch messaging to multiple users. Users can easily change handsets while retaining their preferred service as the solution is SIM-based. Comprehensive applet communication protocols allow for interoperability and compatibility across instant messaging service providers, extending the advantages of SIMapse to a wider range of subscribers.
Instant messaging on handsets is in strong demand and thanks to SIMapse, Axalto allows mobile operators to tap into this enormous potential and increase their revenue stream. Axalto has developed a solution that uses Java0 SIM cards and SIM Toolkit technology, which provides operators with a simple, fast and affordable means to extend IM services to all their subscribers. SIMapse offers operators a fully interoperable solution to leverage the instant messaging experience.
"SIMapse is an ideal way for operators to replicate the success of instant messaging in the wireless world," commented Philippe Vrignaud, director mobile communications at Axalto. "The business case is very straightforward for our mobile telecommunication operator clients, and, based on the strong appetite and familiarity young users currently demonstrate for this interactive approach, we anticipate rapid adoption of this technology."

Trigenix, the mobile interface company, today announced the company is working with QUALCOMM to develop an implementation of Trigenix T4 for QUALCOMM's BREW solution.

Trigenix is developing a variety of operator and consumer-branded user interfaces running under Trigenix on a number of BREW-based wireless handsets. The award-winning Trigenix technology is being created for BREW 3.0 and higher.

"QUALCOMM is a significant player in the mobile industry and we are naturally very pleased to work with them," said Steve Ives, CEO of Trigenix. "The flexibility of the BREW solution is a great fit for bringing the Trigenix T4 product to market. We look forward to offering our unique wireless offerings to BREW operators."

"Trigenix is an innovative wireless company and we look forward to the compelling content and the user interface-centric value they bring to market via the BREW solution," said Johan Lodenius, senior vice president of European Business Relations for QUALCOMM Internet Services. "The BREW system increases business opportunities by enabling the download of user interfaces and also enables operators and device manufacturers to easily differentiate their products and services. The Trigenix T4 extension will be another exciting option for BREW operators."

Nokia has today announced that Prague-based CENEGA PUBLISHING is planning to deliver selected titles for the N-Gage platform. In the latter half of 2004 and early 2005, CENEGA and Nokia expect to release two titles: Roots: Gates of Chaos, an RPG that features a storyline exclusive to the N-Gage platform, and Shade: Wrath of Angels, a 3D horror game with exclusive multiplayer features.

"This is a fantastic chance for CENEGA games to take advantage of the unique mobile connected features that the N-Gage platform provides. The Roots: Gate of Chaos and Shade: Wrath of Angels on the N-Gage platform will allow the players to join their allies and experience the real meaning of brotherhood in arms via multiplayer gaming over Bluetooth wireless technology. CENEGA fans will be able to enjoy some of their favorite games anytime, anywhere they wish." Slavomir Pavlicek, General Manager, Cenega Publishing.
"Working with CENEGA means that N-Gage gamers can play fantastic titles like Roots: Gates of Chaos and Shade: Wrath of Angels, which should have gamers on tenterhooks across the globe. With Roots, and its support for up to 4-player multiplayer gaming and Shade's 2-player deathmatch mode, we expect to have a long and happy relationship with CENEGA and keep gamers thumbs occupied worldwide." Pasi Pölönen, Director of Game Publishing, Games Business Unit, Nokia.
The prequel to the other versions of The Roots, Roots: Gates of Chaos on N-Gage takes place 1000 years before, a time where the gods' struggle for world domination has turned into an open war. Wild hordes of monsters are allowed to ravage the world as the gods fail to take care of the balance of the universe but instead concentrate on mobilizing their armies in preparation for the final battle. A player's mission, should they choose to accept, it is to become one of the gallant heroes fighting to help the Lady of Life defeat her nemesis the Demon Lord. Roots is playable in cooperation or competition modes up to 4 players via Bluetooth wireless technology.
Shade: Wrath of Angels is a 3D horror action-adventure game where intrigue grips the player from the outset, as they find themselves having to wrack their brains to solve puzzles and problems of logic that would even stump Einstein. Throughout its four chapters, gamers must be ever alert as unexpected predators follow them through different times and dimensions. Gamers can use a range of attacking styles from close combat, spell casting and gunfire to create a bizarre and unique game play experience that will leave them wanting more. Shade: Wrath of Angels is expected to have a 2-player deathmatch mode via Bluetooth wireless technology.

For the third year in a row TTG Netherlands dramatically improves its ratings in the telecommunications industry's most important satisfaction survey; TTG Netherlands top or in second place for most benchmarks

TTG Netherlands, part of TTG Europe plc, the AIM quoted provider of fixed and mobile, voice, data and internet telecommunications solutions to business customers in the Benelux countries and the UK, has been named as the Netherlands most customer-focused telecommunications provider in the annual BTG Quality Guide, just published. This is consistently in line with previous year's survey findings. For the past three years TTG Netherlands has consistently improved on its satisfaction rating across the board in this, the Dutch Telecom industry's biggest survey of quality.

BTG - The Dutch Association of Major Business Telecommunication Users - has just announced the results of its 2004 survey, Facts, Figures and Perception. In order to keep a finger on the pulse, BTG monitors the quality of services supplied and customer-focus in the ICT field. BTG sends out a questionnaire to its members and asks them to record their experiences with the services supplied by operators.

In order to make comparisons easier, the survey takes the same form as in previous years. The rating scale from 1 to 10 has once again been used. The figures have the usual meanings, from very poor (1) to outstanding (10).

The report said: "TTG…displays mainly improvements. This operator already performed well last year compared to other (years). TTG's rating for fault levels has improved sharply from two years ago, from 6.9 in 2002 to 7.8 in 2003 and 8.5 this year for national outgoing traffic. And we see a similar improvement in international traffic: from 6.4 in 2002 to 7.2 in 2003 and 7.9 in 2004. It follows logically that its score for price/performance ratio should increase too…"

TTG has moved to first place this year in national telephony in terms of network quality and invoicing, and remains in first place in account management, response to customer's needs, commitment, service by trouble ticket and speed of service delivery.

According to BTG, TTG displays only improvements, with all its scores this year being 7.0 or higher. In the arena of international telephony TTG Netherlands has moved to first place in invoicing, response to customer's needs, commitment, service delivery and quickness and remains in first place in service by trouble ticket and account management. In addition it has moved up to second place in network quality.

The BTG survey comes to the conclusion that TTG Netherlands performance has improved across the board at almost all levels. Last year TTG's rating for connection fault levels rose from 6.9 to 7.8. This year, that score has risen even further to 8.6, giving TTG the highest score of all the providers for fault levels for outgoing national traffic. Speed of delivery has improved sharply: from 6.9 to 7.8.

Graham Pollard, CEO of TTG Netherlands and Belgium said: "This is a marvellous result and rewards the effort which TTG management and staff have made to improving our services this year. We are particularly proud that while pioneering new technologies such as Voice over IP we score so highly in the core areas of the telecommunications industry - service and delivery. The across the board improvements show that no one issue is being addressed at the cost of others - we have a genuine commitment to quality and we are delivering on that commitment day-on-day and year-on-year. I congratulate the staff of TTG Netherlands and Belgium for their hard work and attention to the needs of the customer."

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

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