MSN and Mobile 365, a global leader in mobile messaging and data services, have extended their relationship in Asia by forging strategic alliances with five mobile operators in India for delivering Hotmail and MSN Messenger on mobile phones.
The five mobile operators are Reliance Infocomm entities Reliance India Mobile (RIM) and Reliance GSM, Spice Punjab and Spice Karnataka, both entities of Spice Telecom, and Tata Teleservices.
Subscribers of these mobile operators will now have the option of receiving emails sent to their Hotmail accounts via SMSes on their mobile phones, anytime, anywhere. They will also be able to reply to those email messages directly to the sender’s inbox using SMS as well as perform other common tasks directly from their phones.
The MSN Messenger/Hotmail service via SMS is currently available to over 30 per cent of the Indian mobile user base. MSN and Mobile 365 have ambitious plans to expand the service to cover 100 per cent of the Indian mobile market soon.
“Operators in India are constantly scouting for new mobile content and applications to satisfy the increasing needs of subscribers for timely information and entertainment. People of various demographics communicate daily with friends, family and colleagues around the world using Hotmail and Messenger as a platform for entertainment and information exchange. MSN and Mobile 365 bring the highly popular MSN Messenger and Hotmail access through SMS to give their customers a new avenue of freedom, interaction, and mobility,” said Ashish Thomas, Product Lead, Communication Service, MSN India.
Matthew Talbot, Managing Director, Mobile 365 Asia, said, “Being directly connected with more than 180 mobile operators worldwide, we have collaborated with more than 450 brands globally. India represents a huge market for Mobile 365 in South Asia, and we see great potential for us to offer our market-proven expertise in mobile messaging (SMS and MMS) services and strengthen our market presence here, especially in view of the astounding growth in the mobile data market in India.”
Meanwhile, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, in June 2005 there were about 57.4 million mobile subscribers. The market is expected to jump to around 200 million subscribers by 2008.
In December 2004, MSN India and Mobile 365 had forged similar mobile alliances with Airtel and BPL Mobile to enable their subscribers to access their Hotmail accounts and chat with their MSN buddies on SMS anywhere, anytime. In February 2005, MSN India also launched Hotmail and Messenger via two way SMS with Hutch to reach out to its more than nine million subscribers.