Airtel, Idea Cellular host fastmobile/GSMA trial

Two Indian mobile operators, Airtel and Idea Cellular, have agreed to use fastmobile Inc fmX software technology to support a series of message service trials. fastmobile designs and supplies integrated messaging and content services for mobile network operators: the fmX platform is to be used in trials exploring the impact of mobile communications in developing countries.

The trial is one of several projects being coordinated by the GSM Association to explore how advanced mobile technologies might be used in the developing environment. What is intended is that the fmX platform enable mobile operators to provide customers with a simplified way of accessing and using messaging services such as SMS, multi-media messaging, email and instant messenger-type services. It is also intended to integrate features such as mailboxes and address books across all messaging services. In addition, the platform should gives operators the ability to build revenues and customer loyalty by incorporating popular third-party messaging and content services into their own integrated messaging products.  

Welcoming the trial, Hemant Sachdev, Airtel Group CMO & Director Mobility, said: "We are extremely excited to be involved in this trial, which will introduce Indian mobile subscribers to Integrated Messaging for the first time, and fits with our tradition of providing cutting edge solutions to our valued customers. The fastmobile-enabled dashboard of applications, delivered in a user-friendly format, should enhance the messaging experience."

 Vikram Mehmi, chief executive officer of Idea Cellular, said: "Idea has always played a pivotal role in enabling mobile telephony to the masses. This programme will provide an opportunity to us to reach out to low-income consumers with our offerings." 

John Hoffman, chief executive officer of fastmobile, said: "We are delighted to be taking part in this trial. In countries with little or no heritage of fixed line telephony, the mobile is the future of communications, but the key issue is cost. This trial will show that high levels of functionality can be delivered at a highly affordable price." 

* Airtel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited, itself part of India's biggest private integrated telecom conglomerate, Bharti Enterprises. Bharti's all-India footprint covers all 23 telecom circles of the country. It has over 17 million customers.

 ** Idea Cellular has a customer base of more than six million subscribers, with operations in Delhi , Maharashtra , Goa , Gujarat , Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, UP- West and Kerala. Idea Cellular's footprint currently covers approximately 45% of India's population and over 50% of the potential telecom market.


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