Genie, BT's mobile Internet business, and Nokia, the leading mobile Internet infrastructure provider and the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, announced today that they have signed a landmark agreement, according to which Nokia will deliver innovative mobile games for the customers of Genie's wireless portal. The first Nokia games will be available from Genie in the third quarter 2001.
Under the agreement, Genie will receive a wide selection of new mobile games via the Nokia Mobile Entertainment Service, which is a Nokia hosted and facilitated solution encompassing new mobile games, game-developer tools and support, facilitation, server hosting, as well as a platform for running game applications. The Nokia Mobile Entertainment Service supports standard WAP browsers and SMS-compatible handsets with black-and-white displays. In the future, it will also support the upcoming top-end Java-enabled mobile devices, making advanced and exciting wireless content functional even before the availability of 3G services.
"Ease of use is an important factor in making the mobile Internet a success in the mass market," said Jim Ryan, Chief Technical Officer, Genie. "By taking more of an end-to-end approach towards the delivery of applications and services, this new cooperation will go a long way towards optimizing the user experience and toward making the significant opportunity of the mobile Internet a reality".
"The deal between Nokia and Genie is a significant agreement in the development of the European mobile entertainment market," said Petteri Putkiranta, Director, Mobile Internet Applications, Nokia Networks. "We are delighted to work with Genie, one of the leading mobile Internet portals, and share the same ultimate aim which is to secure the future of the mobile Internet market by delivering exciting and user-friendly mobile games for increasingly advanced mobile devices. Like Genie, Nokia works actively for the optimization of mobile services through compliance with open specifications."
According to a survey commissioned by Genie and conducted by ICM, Genie has been shown to be Europe's most widely used WAP portal. This deal provides Nokia with the platform to demonstrate WAP games to Genie's five million registered users. The Nokia Mobile Entertainment Service, with its growing game portfolio, offers gamers a good choice of mobile entertainment. Nokia's intention is to continuously expand this selection. In the past year, Nokia's entertainment offering has grown to include a large portfolio of games from top companies such as Rage, Eidos, Activision, iomo, Kuju Entertainment, Morpheme, h2g2, Net Entertainment, Oxford Softworks and Quiz Supplies.
"This deal is another step towards our goal of mainstream mobile Internet adoption," said Kent Thexton, President, Genie. "In the UK, 29% of all mobile users are playing games on their phone*. By building on the existing popularity of mobile games and improving the functionality of the mobile phone through optimization of available services, we are providing people with a device that becomes much more than just a phone. In cooperation with Nokia, we are advancing the industry through collaboration, as well as through our commitment to GSMA standards, and the recent GSMA m-Services initiative."
* Source: ICM Research Mobile Phone User Survey May 2001
Genie is BT's mobile Internet portal and is comprised of web and WAP portals in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and a WAP portal in Malaysia, with more than 5 million registrations in total. ** One of the major players in the mobile Internet portal market, Genie offers content including cutting-edge entertainment, m-commerce and games developed with partners like Amazon.com, E4, Emap, Ladbrokes, MTV and Digital Bridges. Also, Genie offers the latest sports, news and business information from Bloomberg, Europapress, the Guardian Unlimited, 451.com and T D Waterhouse. Genie launched the UK's first WAP flight check-in services with British Airways and features bargain travel discounts from lastminute.com. Genie has also partnered with world-leading portals AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Freeserve, and top regional partners Asiacontent.com, Deutschebank, Hallmark, keljob.com, Postbank, Palm, Sportal, La Metro and Vitaminic.
** Data sourced from Red Sheriff, 31 May 2001, Genie's data collection software.
Genie also functions as an application service provider (ASP) to network operators in conjunction with partner, Seven, offering hosted, secure access to enterprise applications through an integrated customized portal. Genie also provides mobile Internet communications and portal services on a hosted basis in the Asia Pacific region. Other key partners include Openwave Systems, Looksmart, Siemens and Palm.
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