Brazilian Operators Commit to Interoperable Personal IM Services

Collaboration will create one of the largest mobile IM communities in the world

The GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry, today announced that eight mobile operators in Brazil are working together to launch interoperable Personal IM services nationwide. The operators, including Vivo, TIM Brazil, Claro, Oi, Brazil Telecom, Sercomtel, Nextel Brazil and CTBC Brazil have signed an agreement to provide interoperable Personal IM services that will allow their customers to exchange messages with users on each other’s networks.

As a result of the strong support from the Brazilian operator community, customers will be among the first in Latin America to enjoy a fully interoperable service. This agreement also means that more than 130 million subscribers will be able to exchange instant messages in Brazil, making it the largest mobile IM community in Latin America and one of the largest in the world.

“We’re delighted that the Brazilian operators have agreed to collaborate and provide their customers with ability to exchange IM messages, nationwide, across different networks,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. “This is a great achievement for the GSMA’s Personal IM initiative and it’s fantastic that mobile operators are working together for the benefit of their customers.”

The Personal IM initiative was launched by the GSMA with wide-scale operator support and is based on the principles that have made voice calls and text messaging such popular services. Momentum continues to gather pace as interoperable services between operator networks are now available for mobile users in countries across Europe, Asia and Africa.

The deployment of interoperable IM services in Brazil builds on the success of live IM services already available in Malaysia and India. In Malaysia, customers of DiGi Telecommunications and Maxis are able to send each other instant messages using their mobile phones. And in India, several leading operators including Bharti Airtel, Aircel, BPL Mobile, BSNL, Idea, MTNL, Reliance Telecom, Spice and Vodafone-Essar have deployed commercially available IM solutions.

Supporting quotes from operators:

“Brazil has a very strong IM subscriber base in the internet environment. If we consider that the mobile user community is about three times larger than web penetration in Brazil, we can assume that the service will be well received by our customers,” said Alexandre Fernandes, Director, Services and Products, Vivo. “Vivo has a history of expanding interoperable services, and we are pleased to be studying the deployment of this GSMA project.”

“The strong growth in the use of message services among TIM customers confirms the need of an SMS evolution to a full IM experience, without barriers between operators and communities,” saidMarco Lopes, Marketing Director of TIM Brazil. “TIM is always supportive of new trends and services as part of the evolution of mobile communications and joins this initiative to bring its customers a new service without borders.”

“By providing interoperable IM services nationwide, Claro is delighted to be at the forefront of new and innovative technologies and services within the mobile industry,” said Fiamma Zarife, VAS Director of Claro Brazil. “Our customers will be pleased with the fact that they will soon be able to exchange IM messages with friends and family across Brazil who are on different networks.”

“Providing new, interoperable IM services for users is taking place on a global scale and is an upgrade of sending messages via SMS,” said Gustavo Alvim, VAS Manager at Oi. “This evolution will allow users in Brazil to communicate more quickly and efficiently, and Oi is always looking for solutions that improve and simplify our customers’ way of life.”

“Brasil Telecom’s main goal is to improve the life of every social layer of the Brazilian population through convergent services and innovative promotions,” says Luis Henrique Coni de Castro Lima, Head of Mobile Operations and Business Development of Brasil Telecom. “We believe that the Personal IM initiative will be a great success and that we will eliminate another barrier to communication, bringing people closer and making their lives simpler.”

“The launch of interoperable IM in Brazil, across different networks, guarantees that operators can interact with each other and collaborate to push new technologies forward,” said Wanderley de Rezende Neiva, Director of Engineering and Planning at Sercomtel. “We expect many users in Brazil to benefit from this collaboration as instant messaging is a very popular service right across the country.”

“IM will provide Nextel customers with the ability to interoperate seamlessly, on top of our well known push to talk services,” said Mario Carotti, Marketing Vice President of Nextel Brazil. “We believe that IM will be a powerful complement to our existing offering.”

“New interoperable services that promote interaction among customers of mobile operators is a growing reality,” said Milton Bonservizzi, Marketing Director of CTBC. “CTBC will support and contribute to new services, products and technologies that provide our customers with innovative ways to communicate. The Personal IM service will aggregate value to CTBC’s current offering and will complement our existing solution,” said Mr Bonservizzi.

About GSMA

The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association’s members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections – over 86% of the world’s mobile phone connections. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers.

For further information contact:
Mark Smith
Email: [email protected]