Nokia to sell operator branded messaging business to Synchronica


Synchronica, a provider of next-generation mobile
messaging services, 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 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


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
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.


“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,” said Carsten
Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica.


By Team