In the United States, Ericsson has signed agreements for the new service with Carolina West Wireless, Centennial Wireless, Golden State Cellular, Rural Cellular Corporation, Western Wireless Corporation and WestLink. These operators are able to offer multimedia subscriptions via MMS from Ericsson's extensive and growing content provider network without having to negotiate individual content licensing deals or invest in developer resources to format content for different phones and services. The solution is integrated and hosted by Ericsson under a managed services agreement, in order to ensure fast, easy and cost-efficient service launches to consumers.
"Subscribers to our MMS events and alerts service have access to an ever-expanding menu of multimedia content from a wide variety of sources," said Stephen Stribley, Executive Director of Product Management and Marketing at Western Wireless Corporation, operator of Cellular One®. "Because of Ericsson's service, we have benefited from a growing MMS revenue stream without undertaking the large capital investment that would have otherwise been required if we chose to manage the service on our own."
"Carolina West Wireless is committed to customer care and providing our current and future customers with multimedia subscription capabilities. Ericsson will provide us with the technical network deliverables to open the door to a welcomed variety of content for our market users. We also strive to be as competitive as possible and our alliance with Ericsson is an enabler," said John McMillan, General Manager, Carolina West Wireless.
By the same token, content providers gain instant access to a broad array of consumer markets through a single agreement with Ericsson. In the U.S., for example, AccuWeather.com®, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Diggit Entertainment Group, Gizmoz, HIPnTASTY, Horoscopes from Bridgett Walther, Reader's Digest, World Entertainment News Network (WENN) and Zingy are included in Ericsson's growing roster of content partners.
"With such a wide variety of phone models and several types of wireless networks in the U.S., it's a huge benefit to us to have Ericsson take care of the technical requirements of formatting and delivery of content to the mobile device, not to mention service level performance monitoring and management," commented Jim Candor, Senior Vice President of New Media at AccuWeather.com®. "Our alliance with Ericsson allows us to focus on what we do best - creating content - while gaining access to a growing number of consumer markets."
Ericsson's service converts RSS, XML feeds or other digital files from content providers into formatted multimedia MMS messages, which are then delivered to MMS subscribers over the hosted MMS network. Ericsson takes care of managing the entire end-to-end service for the mobile operator, including fulfillment, systems integration, content catalog, subscriber preferences, testing, verification, distribution, round-the-clock operations and maintenance, settlement and support.
"We have seen the potential for mobile multimedia for some time and now the market is now starting to take off," said Hans Vestberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson. "To date, the focus has been on ringtones, games and the youth market, and the numbers have been impressive. The real innovation will come from working closely with media and entertainment companies to develop new services that use the unique features of mobility and address a broad array of consumer interests."
The global trend towards managed services is accelerating as operators and vendors work in partnership to reduce costs and bring new services to market as quickly as possible. Ericsson offers hosted MMS and white label portals featuring pre-packaged content guaranteed to attract consumers around the world, including multimedia subscriptions, downloads, video, music and multi-player gaming. Additional localized rosters of content partners are available to suit individual markets and regions.
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.
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