Synchronica Launches First Low-Cost MessagePhones(TM) with Complete Messaging Infrastructure



New MessagePhone handsets bundled with turnkey messaging services from Synchronica deliver affordable aspiration to users and differentiation for operators in emerging markets

  • Two low-cost messaging-centric handsets optimized for emerging markets
  • Bundled with Push Email, Synchronization and Instant Messaging services from Synchronica
  • Provides full Internet access with PC-like web browsing, optimized data and fast download
  • Operator-friendly white label offering provides differentiation and combats churn
  • Turnkey solution delivers lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than Smartphones
  • Two subsidiaries of large operator groups have placed purchase orders and are set to launch shortly

London/Seoul, 10 February 2010, – Synchronica plc, the international provider of next generation mobile messaging services, and Korean Device Manufacturer KC Mobile today introduced MessagePhone™, a new low-cost messaging device (www.message-phone.com). The result of eight months of extensive collaboration, the new MessagePhone provides an integrated device and service solution that delivers Smartphone-like functionality and messaging services at lower TCO than competing solutions.

MessagePhone enables operators in emerging markets to bring mobile data services to the mass market and to combat churn. MessagePhone, which is available in two models, is distributed by Brightstar, a multi-billion dollar global innovator in demand generation distribution and integrated supply chain solutions in the converging wireless and IT industries.

Available immediately, the new MessagePhones offer advanced features such as Push Email and Synchronization services, mobile Instant Messaging, a full HTML web browser and access to social networking sites. The Java-enabled MessagePhone handsets feature a full QWERTY keyboard, large color LCD screen, MP3 and MPEG4 player, camera, SD memory expansion, a robust Personal Information Manager, optional Bluetooth connectivity, USB connector and a built-in FM radio. MessagePhone is sold as a turnkey, integrated solution with an all-inclusive price as low as US $99.00.

MessagePhone comes bundled with a complete suite of infrastructure services providing a comprehensive and affordable mobile messaging and Internet experience for users across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia. Powered by Synchronica Mobile Gateway™, the devices provide Push Email and synchronization as well as Instant Messaging and access to social networking sites, complemented by a full HTML browser licensed from award-winning mobile browser vendor, Bolt™. MessagePhone has been designed to become the primary Internet device for users who don’t have frequent access to a PC, offering special features such as a built-in mobile signup wizard: users simply type in their email address and password and instantly start receiving email.

The underlying Mobile Gateway messaging services are designed to easily integrate with the operator network. Mobile Gateway connects the MessagePhone to enterprise and consumer mail servers, social networking sites, IM communities and RSS web feeds. Unlike messaging solutions of leading Smartphone vendors, the Mobile Gateway platform uses open industry-standards and supports virtually any device from any manufacturer, enabling carriers to extend the service to other devices and across their entire subscriber base.

As a white-label solution, both the handsets and the mobile messaging platform can be branded and customized to operator requirements, providing a clear differentiation from competitors’ offerings. The bundled services empower the operator to own the relationship with the end user and create ‘stickiness’ – imperative in the battle by operators to avoid being relegated to bit pipes.

Commenting on MessagePhone, Nick Jotischky, Principal Analyst, Informa, said: “The MessagePhone solution provides operators in emerging markets with a significant addressable market that can help them to win the battle for Identity Management. The device-centric solution provides benefits to operators desperate to offset falling voice revenues by increasing the size of revenues generated from data services, and to retain existing customers at a time when users are becoming more fickle.”

According to data collected by Informa, monthly churn in Africa averaged approximately 4.8% in September 2009, with churn rates in Kenya and Tanzania, having reached an astonishing 9.2% and 11.4% respectively.

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica commented: “With MessagePhone, we have created a device and service bundle that provides an answer to key challenges faced by operators and delivers affordable aspiration for customers in emerging markets. For the operators, we have delivered a messaging-centric handset that puts them back in control of their subscriber base – they can brand the product and use the services to reduce churn. For subscribers, MessagePhone can become their first and primary Internet device – a great phone with a large screen and full Internet access without breaking the bank, potentially replacing the trek to the Internet cafe.”

J. Jung, CEO at KC Mobile added: “The MessagePhone has been designed from the ground up to provide operators in emerging markets with a low-cost, yet high-quality, full-featured next-generation messaging device. With two significant operators already having signed contracts, we are confident that MessagePhonewill appeal to a broad cross-section of operators in emerging markets.”

 

MessagePhone is available in two versions, the QS150 and the QS200:

 

MessagePhone QS150

  • Messaging and browsing device with VGA camera and MP3 player
  • 2.2″ QVGA 262K TFT LCD
  • 2.5G (GPRS) – GSM tri-band, not quad-band
  • Bundled Push email service (users can have up to 4 email accounts)
  • Contact List and Calendar Synchronization
  • BOLT Web Browser, IM Client and Social Networking
  • Support for Java MIDP 2.0
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 10MB user memory
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 4GB)
  • 5.5h talk time, 17d standby
MessagePhone QS200

  • Messaging and browsing device with camera (1.3 megapixel), MP3 player, Bluetooth and FM radio
  • 2.2″ QVGA 262K TFT LCD
  • 2.75G (GPRS/EDGE) – GSM quad-band
  • Bundled Push email service (users can have up to 5 email accounts)
  • Contact List and Calendar Synchronization
  • BOLT Web Browser, IM Client and Social Networking
  • Support for Java MIDP 2.0
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 32MB user memory
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 4GB)
  • 5.5h talk time, 17d standby

About Synchronica

Synchronica plc is a leading developer of next-generation mobile messaging solutions based on open industry standards. The award-winning product portfolio includes the flagship product Mobile Gateway, providing push email, synchronization, instant messaging, backup & restore and mobile connectivity to social networks. Synchronica’s products are white-labeled and offered by mobile operators in emerging and developed markets to provide mass-market messaging services, increasing data revenues and reducing churn.

Synchronica’s Mobile Gateway provides a unique multi-protocol gateway combining Push IMAP, SyncML, ActiveSync, Email-to-MMS and Email-to-SMS, delivering push email and synchronization to literally any mobile phone currently in the market without requiring an additional client to be downloaded. Expanding Instant Messaging to mobile devices, Mobile Gateway establishes carrier-branded IM communities using the industry-standard XMPP and provides gateways to popular internet IM communities connecting any IMPS enabled handset.

Headquartered in England, Synchronica also maintains a development centre in Germany, in addition to a regional presence in the USA, Hong Kong and Dubai. Synchronica plc is a public company traded on the AIM list of the London Stock Exchange (SYNC.L). For further information please visit www.synchronica.com.

About KC Mobile

KC Mobile is a developer and manufacturer of white-labeled mobile telephony devices. Producing a diverse range of solutions based on GSM, GPRS and 3G technologies, KC Mobile is a recognized innovator within the sector, and has built up an enviable portfolio of products. With Korean-based research and development, and Chinese-based manufacturing, KC Mobile enjoys a solid foothold worldwide. KC Mobile’s focus on quality R&D in tandem with cost-conscious production, allows it to fulfill its strategic vision of being the leading developer of low-cost white-labeled mobile devices.

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