Low-Cost MessagePhones Launched By Synchronica

Two low-cost messaging-centric handsets optimized for emerging markets

— Bundled with Push Email, Synchronization and Instant Messaging services from Synchronica

— Provides full Internet access with PC-like web browsing, optimized data and fast download

— Operator-friendly white label offering provides differentiation and combats churn

— Turnkey solution delivers lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than Smartphones

— Two subsidiaries of large operator groups have placed purchase orders and are set to launch shortly

Synchronica plc, the
international provider of next generation mobile messaging services, and
Korean Device Manufacturer KC Mobile today
introduced MessagePhone(TM), a new low-cost messaging device. The
result of eight months of extensive collaboration, the new MessagePhone
provides an integrated device and service solution that delivers
Smartphone-like functionality and messaging services at lower TCO than
competing solutions.

MessagePhone enables operators in emerging markets to bring mobile
data services to the mass market and to combat churn. MessagePhone,
which is available in two models, is distributed by Brightstar, a
multi-billion dollar global innovator in demand generation distribution
and integrated supply chain solutions in the converging wireless and IT

Available immediately, the new MessagePhones offer advanced features
such as Push Email and Synchronization services, mobile Instant
Messaging, a full HTML web browser and access to social networking
sites. The Java-enabled MessagePhone handsets feature a full QWERTY
keyboard, large color LCD screen, MP3 and MPEG4 player, camera, SD
memory expansion, a robust Personal Information Manager, optional
Bluetooth connectivity, USB connector and a built-in FM radio.
MessagePhone is sold as a turnkey, integrated solution with an
all-inclusive price as low as US $99.00.

MessagePhone comes bundled with a complete suite of infrastructure
services providing a comprehensive and affordable mobile messaging and
Internet experience for users across Africa, Latin America, Eastern
Europe and South-East Asia. Powered by Synchronica Mobile Gateway(TM),
the devices provide Push Email and synchronization as well as Instant
Messaging and access to social networking sites, complemented by a full
HTML browser licensed from award-winning mobile browser vendor,
Bolt(TM). MessagePhone has been designed to become the primary Internet
device for users who don’t have frequent access to a PC, offering
special features such as a built-in mobile signup wizard: users simply
type in their email address and password and instantly start receiving

The underlying Mobile Gateway messaging services are designed to
easily integrate with the operator network. Mobile Gateway connects the
MessagePhone to enterprise and consumer mail servers, social networking
sites, IM communities and RSS web feeds. Unlike messaging solutions of
leading Smartphone vendors, the Mobile Gateway platform uses open
industry-standards and supports virtually any device from any
manufacturer, enabling carriers to extend the service to other devices
and across their entire subscriber base.

As a white-label solution, both the handsets and the mobile messaging
platform can be branded and customized to operator requirements,
providing a clear differentiation from competitors’ offerings. The
bundled services empower the operator to own the relationship with the
end user and create ‘stickiness’ – imperative in the battle by operators
to avoid being relegated to bit pipes.

Commenting on MessagePhone, Nick Jotischky, Principal Analyst,
Informa, said: "The MessagePhone solution provides operators in emerging
markets with a significant addressable market that can help them to win
the battle for Identity Management. The device-centric solution
provides benefits to operators desperate to offset falling voice
revenues by increasing the size of revenues generated from data
services, and to retain existing customers at a time when users are
becoming more fickle."

According to data collected by Informa, monthly churn in Africa
averaged approximately 4.8% in September 2009, with churn rates in Kenya
and Tanzania, having reached an astonishing 9.2% and 11.4%

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica commented: "With
MessagePhone, we have created a device and service bundle that provides
an answer to key challenges faced by operators and delivers affordable
aspiration for customers in emerging markets. For the operators, we have
delivered a messaging-centric handset that puts them back in control of
their subscriber base – they can brand the product and use the services
to reduce churn. For subscribers, MessagePhone can become their first
and primary Internet device – a great phone with a large screen and full
Internet access without breaking the bank, potentially replacing the
trek to the Internet cafe."

J. Jung, CEO at KC Mobile added: "The MessagePhone has been designed
from the ground up to provide operators in emerging markets with a
low-cost, yet high-quality, full-featured next-generation messaging
device. With two significant operators already having signed contracts,
we are confident that MessagePhone will appeal to a broad cross-section
of operators in emerging markets."

MessagePhone is available in two versions, the QS150 and the QS200:

MessagePhone QS150

  • Messaging and browsing device with VGA camera and MP3 player
  • 2.2" QVGA 262K TFT LCD
  • 2.5G (GPRS) – GSM tri-band, not quad-band
  • Bundled Push email service (users can have up to 4 email accounts)
  • Contact List and Calendar Synchronization
  • BOLT Web Browser, IM Client and Social Networking
  • Support for Java MIDP 2.0
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 10MB user memory
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 4GB)
  • 5.5h talk time, 17d standby

MessagePhone QS200

  • Messaging and browsing device with camera (1.3 megapixel), MP3 player,
  • Bluetooth and FM radio
  • 2.2" QVGA 262K TFT LCD
  • 2.75G (GPRS/EDGE) – GSM quad-band
  • Bundled Push email service (users can have up to 5 email accounts)
  • Contact List and Calendar Synchronization
  • BOLT Web Browser, IM Client and Social Networking
  • Support for Java MIDP 2.0
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 32MB user memory
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 4GB)
  • 5.5h talk time, 17d standby



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