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Sonera Zed Takes First Hop

Sonera Zed picks First Hop's Message Router for the delivery of its SMS- and MMS-based application and content services around the world

September 9, 2003

4 Min Read

LONDON and HELSINKI -- First Hop, a proven leader in mobile middleware, and Sonera zed today announced that zed has chosen First Hop Message Router for the delivery of its SMS and MMS based application and content services around the world.

zed, a company owned by Sonera Corporation and Yahoo! Inc, provides quality entertainment, communications and information services for mobile handset users. Zed is a leading provider of consumer mobile value-added services in six European and Asian markets. The company provides one of the worlds largest portfolios of mobile messaging services ranging from infotainment services, news, gaming, ring-tones and logos to picture messaging and chat. Sonera zed has selected and deployed First Hop Message Router as the new SMS/MMS delivery platform to boost further growth of the highly popular messaging services.

SMS based content services generate today the bulk of our business, while at the same we have seen also really strong growth from new content formats. The zed messaging service usage has been growing steadily in the past 12 months and keeps on hitting new record levels each quarter. This development has two important implications for us: first, we continuously want to expand our reach to customers in existing and new markets, and secondly, we want to enhance our messaging services functionality especially around MMS content and applications to better tap onto the most important new market opportunity", says Turkka Oksanen, Executive Vice President of Technology and Services at Sonera zed Ltd. We see that it makes great sense for us to focus on building our business, while trusting on First Hop to provide us with a market leading messaging platform and professional services enabling us to deliver on our chosen strategy, Mr Oksanen adds."

Janne Aalto, Vice President of Development at zed, asserts, We chose First Hop as a long-term business partner to zed, because we saw that the company not only has references of delivering carrier-grade mobile messaging platforms to a number of important players in the market, but is unique also in terms of being capable of assuming full turnkey responsibility for expanding our SMS and MMS connectivity to new markets and new operators. We are now able to free up our own experts from operator integrations into developing exciting MVAS platform and messaging services and grow the business to its full potential", concludes Mr Aalto.

First Hop has an impressive list of references for First Hop Message Router, which helps the company develop the product constantly into new areas of critical business value. The company has indeed lately enhanced the value proposition of its flagship product, for example, by introducing fully integrated, complementary products, such as First Hop Content Push for WAP Push services, and First Hop Messaging Manager for service and content provider provisioning. Recently introduced optional product modules like MMS Direct Delivery, WAP Push Direct Delivery and SMSC adapters are further evidence of First Hops strategy to provide a complete messaging business solution for the worlds most innovative mobile service companies. The latest addition to the First Hop value proposition is providing Connectors to SMS and MMS network operators around the globe.

"We are delighted to have zed as our customer - their innovation and experience in branded mobile content services is well-known all over the world", states Timo T Laaksonen, CEO of First Hop. The recent, unprecedented level of success experienced by zed in their messaging services called for a fast, easy and cost-effective way to connect their service platform to a large number of new mobile operator partners, covering also MMS content and applications. We saw that the time had come for us to productize our software and experience that we have accumulated while building connections to operator SMS and MMS networks, and their respective billing systems, Mr Laaksonen explains. First Hop Message Router complemented by field-proven, operator-specific SMS and MMS connectors is the markets first complete solution for running an international messaging business, with 50 productized off-the-shelf connectors for mobile operators around Europe, Asia and North America. First Hop is looking forward to a flourishing partnership with zed resulting in many similar business and technology innovations that will benefit both companies."

First Hop Ltd.

Sonera Zed Ltd.

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