Ericsson has won its first global contract from Vodafone Group Plc ("Vodafone"), to supply Multimedia Messaging software. The companies
have agreed a roll-out schedule that will see commercial availability of the service in Europe from the middle of this year.
Vodafone will initially roll out Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain,
Sweden and the United Kingdom, with services in a number of Vodafone operating companies to follow. The two companies have formed a global team to see the project through its aggressive roll-out.
In each of these countries Ericsson will provide the network infrastructure to support MMS. Users will be able to experience the true capabilities of multimedia messaging, when using an MMS-enabled handset, commercially available from vendors, including Sony Ericsson, during
"Colour pictures and sounds make Mobile Internet more personal, powerful and fun, and this is what MMS is about," says Kurt Hellstrom, President
and CEO of Ericsson. "This significant contract to one of the world's leading operators goes hand in hand with the solid development of GPRS
services, bringing high-speed Mobile Internet services to the market. As the leading provider of mobile systems we will drive this market
together with our partners."
"MMS is an integral part of Vodafone's messaging strategy. Our customers will soon be able to compose and send media rich messages to
one another, as well as being able to choose to have value added messaging content delivered to their mobile devices. Vodafone believes the greater functionality of MMS will be the starting point of a broader customer experience which will pave the way for 3G usage," says Thomas Geitner, Chief Executive, Global Product and Services, Vodafone. "Our decision to choose Ericsson as Vodafone's global supplier also demonstrates our ability to develop global service platforms once,
creating cost synergies and seamless service access across our worldwide operators".
MMS offers a dramatic increase in mobile-to-mobile messaging capabilities by enabling colour pictures, animations, audio and video clips to be sent along with text. This opens the door to content-rich applications and services such as electronic postcards, animated cartoons and multimedia presentations.
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.