ESPN associates with Comverse for ESPN Mobile in US

MUMBAI: ESPN has announced its latest agreement in the development of ESPN Mobile - the first US national wireless phone services targeted to sports fans.

Comverse, a unit of Comverse Technology, Inc., and one of the world's leading suppliers of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication services, will provide and support the software and hardware that will enable ESPN Mobile subscribers to interact with data, obtain downloads and browse mobile websites.

ESPN Mobile, set to launch in early 2006, will offer fans unique sports programming and entertainment from ESPN on a mobile phone, delivering not only wireless voice service, but applications such as easy access to sports news, information, commentary, analysis, statistics, ring tones, graphics, photos and logos as well as audio and video. ESPN Mobile will sell ESPN-branded handsets, accessories and applications tailored to its target audience of sports fans, stated an official release.

"Every step of this process brings the concept of ESPN Mobile closer to reality, and we're really excited to make this announcement today," ESPN Mobile senior V-P Manish Jha said. "Serving the fans anytime, anywhere has never been more possible, and working with Comverse will help us get to our fans the content they want, when they want it."

Added Comverse Americas president Ramesh Barasia, "MVNOs like ESPN are becoming increasingly popular. MVNOs provide a cost-efficient way to reach targeted customer segments and effectively increase ARPU and subscriber loyalty through customized services. We are excited to contribute to ESPN's success in the mobile field by providing our strong marketing and technological expertise."

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