"Ericsson and Microsoft today launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB. This previously announced joint company will drive the mobile Internet by developing and marketing mobile e-mail solutions for operators. The first solutions will be on the market by the end of the year. The company is part of a broader strategic alliance between Ericsson and Microsoft. Preparations for the joint company have been ongoing for the past months. A management team is now in place, recruitment has begun, and operations
are running. Further, the EU Commission has reported that the formation of the joint company will not be subject to EC merger review filing, which means that the legal entity can be formed.
Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and will have regional centers around the world. Ulf Avrin from
Ericsson is president of the company. Ericsson and Microsoft will hold 70 and 30 percent share in the company respectively. The company will develop solutions, based on Ericsson's and Microsoft's products that enable mobile operators to offer asy-to-use and secure mobile e-mail to both corporate and consumer customers. The solutions will also include calendar, to-do lists and other personal information management tools, and will provide professional users with full mobile access to corporate data. The first solutions are expected to be commercially available for mobile operators by the end of 2000.
The solutions will integrate Microsoft Windows 2000(r) Server and Microsoft Exchange(r) platforms with Ericsson's infrastructure and mobile Internet
technologies. The company will provide solutions for mobile operators' existing networks. Ericsson and Microsoft will sell the solutions to operators worldwide, which gives the Mobile Venture a strong global customer reach. Ericsson and Microsoft are already cooperating with some of the largest mobile operators in Europe.
"Mobile e-mail should be as easy as talking on a mobile phone, which is basically what we will help the mobile operators deliver to their
customers," said Ulf Avrin, president of Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB. "There is broad recognition that mobile e-mail is one of the
key applications that are needed to create a mobile Internet mass market. We already have discussions with leading operators, that show a strong interest in these types of solutions."
"Ericsson estimates that mobile phones and other mobile devices will surpass consumer PCs as the main Internet tool by 2003, and that the
number of mobile Internet subscribers will reach 1 billion by 2005. Today, e-mail is one of the most important Internet applications, with more than 435 million e-mail boxes in use (source: Messaging Online Inc.).
"Microsoft's vision is to work together with mobile operators in order to provide knowledge workers and consumers faster and easier access to mobile e-mail and other mobile data services - by realizing the promise of information anytime, anywhere and on any device," said Paul H. Gross,
senior vice president, Mobility Division at Microsoft Corporation. "As the world leader in mobility and mobile communications, Ericsson is an
ideal partner to help deliver this vision."