Synchronica to Acquire Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging Business
Synchronica plc, the emerging markets leader in next-generation mobile messaging services, today announced the conditional agreement to acquire Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging (OBM) business, which provides white-label mobile Email and Instant Messaging (IM) services across a wide range of devices to operators in North America.
The acquisition will provide Synchronica with a successful and complementary mobile messaging business and a strong foothold in the strategically important North American operator market. Combined with more than 80 existing carrier contracts in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Russia and Asia, Synchronica aims to become the global leader in next-generation mobile messaging. With Nokia’s assignment of ten operator contracts in North America, Synchronica’s total addressable market across all operator customers worldwide will extend to 1.8 billion end-users.
The terms of the acquisition include an assignment of mobile operator contracts as well as source code of the related Nokia Messaging client and server software. As part of the deal, Synchronica and Nokia will enter into a long-term relationship in which Synchronica will provide the messaging software which Nokia will continue to preload on Nokia Series 40 phones. Synchronica will assume responsibility for development, maintenance and support of the Nokia Messaging software shipping with millions of Nokia devices and the gateway functionality for both Series 40 and Symbian devices. Approximately 250 employees, externals and contractors, are planned to transfer from Nokia to Synchronica.
The 10 North American carrier contracts planned to be transferred to Synchronica include tier-one carriers such as AT&T, Bell Canada, Rogers Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, with more than 6 million users actively using the Email and/or IM service.
The acquired messaging platform complements Synchronica’s flagship, carrier-grade Mobile Gateway messaging infrastructure software. Synchronica plans to continue to develop the acquired messaging platform and to merge both products to create a superior solution with significantly enhanced functionality.
Synchronica Mobile Gateway provides operators and device manufacturers with next-generation messaging services including push email, instant messaging, and social networking. Mobile Gateway 6 features Pre-RCS Unified Messaging capabilities, a presence-enabled address book, an ultra-lightweight J2ME client, support for xHTML browsers, and advanced document transcoding capabilities.
Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging technology enables mobile operators to affordably deliver an operator-branded email experience on mobile devices via an easy to-use interface. MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Google mail/Gmail and multiple other portal/ISP email services are all supported via a single client on a mobile device. Similarly to email, multiple IM accounts, such as GoogleTalk, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, AOL and others are accessible via the IM clients.
Synchronica’s CEO, Carsten Brinkschulte added: “This acquisition marks a key milestone for Synchronica as we move closer to our goal of becoming the leading global player for next-generation mobile messaging. Nokia’s successful and highly complementary Operator Branded Messaging business will at a stroke transform Synchronica’s scale, profitability and geographic scope. We look forward to forging successful, long-term partnerships with the carrier customers in North America for providing mass-market, Operator Branded Messaging services, as well as with Nokia for ongoing development and support of the Nokia Messaging Services.”