Personal Instant Messaging Services Go Live in Asia

Personal Instant Messaging services are now commercially available in India and Malaysia, enabling mobile users to exchange instant messages with friends and colleagues on other networks. In Malaysia, customers of DiGi Telecommunications and Maxis can now send each other instant messages using their mobile phones and will be able to exchange messages with customers of Celcom from the end of this year. In India, intensive field trials have been carried out and interoperable IM solutions have been deployed across all GSM networks, including Aircel, Bharti Airtel, BPL Mobile, BSNL, Idea, MTNL, Reliance Telecom, Spice and Vodafone-Essar.

Developed by the GSMA, the commercial and technical framework for Personal IM is designed to maximise ease-of-use, interoperability and reliability, while minimising spam and viruses. More than 40 mobile operators worldwide are developing Personal IM services. In Indonesia, for example, the leading operators Excelcom, Indosat and Telkomsel, which together have more than 82 million subscribers, are now committed to launch mobile IM services compatible with the GSMA’s framework.

“We have designed Personal IM so that everyone in the value chain has an incentive to provide users with a high-quality experience,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, the global trade association for mobile operators. “The success of this service is of vital strategic importance to the mobile industry and we expect it to be rolled out across both the developed and the developing worlds.”

In Russia, VimpelCom has designed its ‘Svoi’ IM service, which was launched in late April, so that it can be interoperable with IM services offered by other operators. Turkcell in Turkey and China Mobile have also launched IM services that are compatible with the Personal IM initiative. China Mobile now has more than 50 million registered customers for its Fetion IM service, while Turkcell has found that its Turkcell Messenger IM service has significantly increased the revenue it earns from each customer.

Notes to editors:
Embedded in the GSMA’s Personal IM framework are the principles that have made voice calls and text messaging such popular services:

Ease of use – automatic authentication and billing
Security – SIM card verifies identity and the commercial model deters spam
Reliability – services are tracked end to end
Interoperability – services work across networks
Cost transparency – initiating party pays, a simple and clear way to charge

About the GSMA:
The GSMA (The GSM Association) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. 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. The Association’s members serve more than 2.5 billion customers – 85% of the world’s mobile phone users.

For more information please contact:
For the GSM Association:
Mark Smith or David Pringle
Email: [email protected]