RealNetworks, Idea Cellular partner for RBT service

MUMBAI: RealNetworks India, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of US-based digital entertainment services company RealNetworks, has inked a long-term Ringback Tone (RBT) partnership with mobile services operator Idea Cellular which has over 100 million subscribers.

RealNetworks won the deal after an open bidding process ahead of global and Indian Vas players.

RealNetworks will power Dialer Tones for 10 key circles in Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP West, UP East, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Kolkata, Assam and North East. The subscriber base of these circles constitute about one-third of Idea Cellular’s total base, who will now have access to globally advanced and innovative service features.

Idea Cellular CMO Sashi Shankar said, “Dialer Tones has matured as a product and growth has stagnated. There is a need to invest in innovation and think out-of-the-box. We hope to partly address this through our partnership with RealNetworks. After a rigorous evaluation process, RealNetworks emerged as ‘best fit’ for the job at hand. We hope to leverage their global expertise in music, technology and licensing”.

RealNetworks AsiaPacific head DJ Lee said, “We are honoured to be chosen as the RBT partner of Idea Cellular. RealNetworks global expertise in RBT deployment, combined with Idea Cellular’s deep and ongoing commitment to its subscribers’ satisfaction means that Idea’s subscribers will have the opportunity to enjoy innovative, reliable and fun RBT services.”

RealNetworks‘ RBT ASP service is available through 16 mobile operators in 10 countries around the world with 588 million subscribers. Recently, RealNetworks opened its second office in India in Mumbai as a result of the new deal with Idea Cellular.

RealNetworks India country manager DJ Kim said, “RealNetworks India plans to aggressively expand our base with multiple carriers in Mumbai as well as across the country. We will move ahead to bring RealNetworks globally proven VAS services and expertise from advanced markets like USA, Korea and Europe to the fast-growing and promising India market.”

RealNetworks has been steadily growing its business in India since the company opened its first office in National Capital Region (NCR) in 2005. RealNetworks already provides RBT service for Tier 1 and Tier 2 carriers as well as Vas operations to Tier 1 carriers.

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