GSMA announced an initiative to make instant messaging as popular and ubiquitous among mobile users as text messaging

February 13, 2006

2 Min Read

BARCELONA -- The GSM Association (GSMA) today announced an initiative to make instant messaging as popular and ubiquitous among mobile users as text messaging. As part of this initiative, 15 of the world’s leading mobile phone operators plan to rollout instant messaging services that will work across networks.

Eight of the world’s largest operators, China Mobile, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, TIM, T-Mobile, Turkcell and Vodafone, and the GSM operators in India - Aircel, Bharti, BSNL, Hutchison Essar, Idea, MTNL and Spice – are gearing up to rollout IM services that adhere to the core GSM principles of ease-of-use, security, reliability, interoperability and initiating party pays. More operators are set to follow suit. In an unprecedented show of support for a new mobile service, the Chief Executives of China Mobile, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone committed to this approach to IM at a GSMA press conference at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.

“The GSMA is calling this approach to instant messaging, Personal IM, because it respects the personal nature of mobile devices and protects the trusted and secure environment surrounding mobile voice calls and text messaging,” said Craig Ehrlich, chairman of the GSM Association.

The support of the world’s leading operators means IM will be rolled out in a consistent way and on a huge scale. The GSMA envisages that operators will use the IM rollout as a blueprint for the launch of many future mobile services.

“Thanks to this coordinated instant messaging campaign, more than 700 million mobile subscribers will eventually have access to an IM service that is intuitive, reliable, secure and will work across networks,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association. “Crucially, users will only pay to send, not receive, messages - meaning they can easily control their spending and minimize spam.”

GSM Association (GSMA)

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