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India's Airtel reaches 1 million ringback tone service subscribers
Posted: 15-Dec-2004 [Source: WiderThan]

[Airtel reaches 1 million subscribers five months after launch of "HelloTunes" ringback tone service provided and operated by WiderThan.]

Seoul, Korea -- WiderThan, a leading global provider of mobile Internet solutions and services, today announced that its global customer, Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited(BTVL) which offers its mobile services under the brand name of Airtel, has reached 1 million subscribers for "HelloTunes," a ringback tone service provided and operated by WiderThan, just five months after their July 2004 service launch.

Airtel's current mobile customer base is 9.41 million, most of whom use mobile phones for voice service so the fact that the subscriber rate for the value-added ringback tone service has reached the 1 million mark so rapidly, with a penetration rate exceeding 11.1%, shows a strong demand for the technologically innovative service, which has in fact exhibited its fastest growth in India Vis-a-Vis US, Europe and the Philippines.

In order to provide optimal commercial service quality of ringback tones in India, WiderThan placed a priority on the sound quality of the service by reducing noise and latency. As a differentiator, Airtel with support from WiderThan also placed an emphasis on securing a vast selection of content from India's movie industry, Bollywood, and sourced voice clips from many of India's leading celebrities. WiderThan took into consideration India's many dialects, developing the IVR interface to accommodate the ringback tones service in six languages including English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi & Kannad.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Atul Bindal, Group CMO & Director, Airtel Mobile Services said, "The tremendous success of the ringback tone service in India has changed the way music is bought and sold in India. Going forward, Airtel clearly views much stronger levels of engagement evolving between the two partners- the Indian mobile and the music industry."

"The extremely rapid uptake of the HelloTunes service in India just reinforces how competitive Korea's mobile businesses can be as we expand into the global marketplace," said Mr. Sang Jun Park, CEO of WiderThan. "Our market-proven technology, expertise, and ability to localize and customize services based on our customers' requirements, give us a clear advantage as we continue to expand our market leadership globally."

WiderThan has also launched ringback tones services and other industry leading mobile entertainment solutions and services for customers in Korea, Europe and the Americas including SK Telecom of Korea, T-Mobile of USA, Orange of Israel, Globe Telecom of the Philippines, and APBW of Taiwan.


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