REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 14, 2003 — The MSN®
network of Internet services and KT Freetel today made a significant step toward offering consumers rich wireless services with the launch of MSN Mobile services on advanced KT Freetel handsets. The breakthrough took place in South Korea as part of the expanding initiative under a strategic alliance between Microsoft Corp. and KT Freetel, the leading mobile communications provider in that country with 11 million subscribers.
For the first time, KT Freetel is launching wireless Internet standard platform (WIPI) handsets that will initially offer MSN Messenger Service, the single-most-used free instant messaging service in the world with 75 million customers. MSN Mobile is introducing
enhanced functionality that will allow customers to be reached by their MSN Messenger contacts without the need to maintain a network session. Customers will be able to access MSN Mobile services conveniently via an MSN Mobile icon and a hotkey on the handset. KT Freetel and MSN will market MSN Mobile services with go-to-market initiatives.
“This is Microsofts first opportunity to launch the MSN Mobile subscription service on KT Freetels highly advanced network with an audience that is well suited to incorporating mobile data into its lifestyle,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN.
“The advantage for consumers connected to the MSN Mobile service is they will be able to communicate with friends, family and business associates in an always-on state — essentially extending the quality and richness of service from the PC to a mobile phone.”
“We are pleased to have expanded our relationship with MSN as we believe consumers are demanding globally integrated data experiences to help them access information when they need it,”
said Dr. Joo Young Song, executive vice president at KT Freetel.
“The combination of our expertise in wireless networking technology and the leadership of MSN in Internet services makes this offering a solid bet for consumers in South Korea.”
The new MSN Mobile service includes a synchronized contacts list with a view of all contacts status; always-on service; the ability to send and receive instant messages in rich form; and the ability to add, remove or block contacts. In addition, the quick messaging feature enables users to save phrases (such as,
“Hi, how are you?”
) on their mobile phone so they can be accessed again easily.
MSN continues to extend the availability of services to consumers by offering enhanced subscription services across many devices. Currently, MSN Mobile offers subscription services to consumers in 16 countries across 35 carriers.
MSN has 9 million subscriptions and attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
About Korea Telecom Freetel
Founded in 1996, KTF began nationwide wireless services in South Korea in 1997 and by February 2002 had more than 9.7 million subscribers throughout South Korea. In late 2000, KTF became the first domestic firm in the PCS industry to register a surplus, with KRW 116 billion in net profits for the year. It is an innovative market and technology leader in wireless data application and services in Korea, one of worlds fastest-growing mobile markets.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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