In addition to supplying the platform and integrating the application with the Western Wireless network and billing system, Ericsson will be responsible for around-the-clock operation and maintenance of the MMS service.  Furthermore, through Ericsson's Mobility World initiative, Western Wireless will benefit from relationships with thousands of application and content developers whose services are compatible with Ericsson networks around the world.

"In today's market, vendors and service providers must work together to develop creative, flexible and cost-effective ways to deliver wireless services," Ericsson Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Angel Ruiz said. "The hosted service offering makes sense because our customers spend less money on capital and operations, which minimizes risk and allows them to focus on growing their business and customer relationships."

"Exceeding our customers' needs by providing high quality wireless data services is truly important in this ever-changing wireless communications arena," said Eric Hertz, chief operating officer at Western Wireless Corporation. "Ericsson's services will assist us to continue our leadership role within the rural marketplace while providing us with the best and most cost-effective solutions for our growing data services sector."

Ericsson's MMS technology offers dramatic enhancements in mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-e-mail messaging capabilities by enabling users to send color pictures, animations, audio and video clips along with text.
Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.