MSN, Vodafone to launch PC-to-mobile instant messaging

MUMBAI: MSN and Vodafone are planning to launch a first-of-its-kind seamless instant messaging (IM) service between PCs and mobile phones.

Customers will be able to see the "presence" of their contacts and exchange instant messages between MSN Messenger on a PC and Vodafone Messenger on mobile phones and vice versa.


By offering customers a seamless PC-to-mobile messaging option with instant messaging, MSN and Vodafone will expand communication choices, delivering an enhanced messaging offering for MSN and Vodafone customers who want to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues.




The service will be based on the familiar mobile commercial model of "Calling Party Pays." As they do today, Vodafone customers will prepay or pay for the service through their monthly bill, while MSN Messenger customers will be able to pay through packages available in connection with MSN Messenger.



The service will bring together customers of MSN Messenger (165 million customers) and Vodafone (155 million customers) as messaging continues to grow in popularity on PCs and mobile phones.

Building on and complementing the messaging success of SMS, instant messaging between PCs and mobile phones enables new service benefits to customers such as immediacy, the ability to tell whether a contact is available to receive a message (presence) and the ability to see the text of whole conversations.

"MSN and Vodafone are working to enhance messaging between mobile phones and PCs, ultimately delivering a richer experience to customers. By enabling our customers to see each other's presence on both PC and mobile devices, we are expanding our customers' ability to make smart communication choices and connect instantly

via IM to the people they care about most," said MSN Communication Services corporate vice president and Member Platform group at Microsoft Corp Blake Irving.

"We have brought together two of the world's largest messaging communities with a first of its kind for both industries -- a seamless PC-to-mobile instant messaging service. Vodafone customers will now be able to use IM and its additional service benefits to stay in touch with mobile and PC friends and family. IM is a growing part of the increasingly important mobile messaging market. By bringing our collective customers together, we'll deliver more options for staying in touch when messaging. Our agreement will grow IM and SMS, meaning additional revenue for Vodafone," said Vodafone chief marketing officer Peter Bamford.

MSN and Vodafone plan to launch the enhanced messaging service in several European countries before the end of the year.

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