STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 11, 2000 — Ericsson and Microsoft Corp. today launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB. This previously announced joint company will drive the mobile Internet by developing and marketing mobile e-mail solutions for operators. The first solutions are expected to be on the market by the end of the year. The company is part of a broader strategic alliance between Ericsson and Microsoft.
Preparations for the joint company have been ongoing for the past months. A management team is now in place, recruitment has begun and operations are running. In addition, the European Union Commission has reported that the formation of the joint company will not be subject to EUC merger review filing, which means that the legal entity can be formed.
Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and will have regional centers around the world. Ulf Avrin of Ericsson is president of the company. Ericsson and Microsoft will hold 70 percent and 30 percent share in the company respectively.
The company will develop solutions, based on Ericsson’s and Microsoft’s products that enable mobile operators to offer easy-to-use and secure mobile e-mail to both corporate and consumer customers. The solutions will also include calendar, to-do list and other personal information management tools, and will provide professional users with full mobile access to corporate data. The first solutions are expected to be commercially available for mobile operators by the end of 2000.
The solutions will integrate the Microsoft
2000 Server and Microsoft Exchange platforms with Ericsson’s infrastructure and mobile Internet technologies. The joint company will provide solutions for mobile operators’ existing networks. Ericsson and Microsoft will sell the solutions to operators worldwide, which gives Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB a strong global customer reach. Ericsson and Microsoft are already cooperating with some of the largest mobile operators in Europe.
Mobile e-mail should be as easy as talking on a mobile phone, which is basically what we will help mobile operators deliver to their customers,
said Ulf Avrin, president of Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB.
There is broad recognition that mobile e-mail is one of the key applications needed to create a mobile Internet mass market. We are already having discussions with leading operators that show a strong interest in these types of solutions.
Ericsson estimates that mobile phones and other mobile devices will surpass consumer PCs as the main Internet tool by 2003, and that the number of mobile Internet subscribers will reach 1 billion by 2005. Today, e-mail is one of the most important Internet applications, with more than 435 million e-mail boxes in use (according to Messaging Online Inc.).
Microsoft’s vision is to work together with mobile operators to provide knowledge workers and consumers with faster and easier access to mobile e-mail and other mobile data services — by realizing the promise of information any time, anywhere and on any device,
said Paul H. Gross, senior vice president of the Collaboration and Mobility Group at Microsoft.
As the world leader in mobility and mobile communications, Ericsson is an ideal partner to help deliver this vision.
This unique venture between Ericsson and Microsoft is clear proof of the marriage between mobility and Internet into the new era of mobile Internet — Ericsson’s key strategic focus,
said Lars Boman, vice president and general manager, Internet Applications at Ericsson.
Providing people with e-mail anywhere, any time will serve as a strong driver for the new mobile Internet market, and we are in a lead position to benefit from this growth.
Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB is a key step in the strategic alliance between Ericsson and Microsoft. The alliance includes cooperation on the use of the Microsoft Mobile Explorer browser for Ericsson’s feature phones, licensing of Ericsson’s WAP technology for use in Microsoft solutions, and distribution of the Microsoft Outlook
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