Meteor moves on multimedia messaging

26 May 2003

Meteor Communications is understood to have signed an agreement to deploy LogicaCMG’s Multimedia Messaging Service Centre (MMSC) that will allow its subscribers to send content-rich multimedia messages including photos, audio and video clips.

Meteor, which is struggling to increase beyond its present 4pc market share in Ireland, recently moved to make its network GPRS-enabled. The company says it selected LogicaCMG’s MMS technology for its device-independence and prepaid support, which gives the operator the means to evolve its network easily.

The LogicaCMG MMSC solution contains such fucntions as transcoding, which ensures the most appropriate image, audio or video format is used based on the receiving device’s capabilities as well as supporting number portability, a vital aspect of Meteor’s strategy to break out of its current 4pc encirclement in the Irish marketplace.

Late into the market after being held up by legal rows over its GSM licence award, the company missed out on the watershed years of 1999 and 2000 that saw the Irish mobile market on the way to its present 79pc penetration. During that time, Meteor’s competitors, Vodafone and O2, were able to take a 96pc share of the available market.

This critical delay meant that the company was late in rolling out its voice network. The process also held back Meteor from ratcheting up the customer numbers (so far 118,000 people, about 4pc of the Irish mobile market), despite innovative call and short messaging service (SMS) pricing options.

The impact of number portability as well as value added services such as MMS may prove vital to Meteor’s future. The company’s IT director, Tony Steward-Lord said: “LogicaCMG solutions have formed the basis of our messaging services and the company has proved itself to be a reliable and strategic partner. The next step for us was to select the company’s MMS solution which provides everything we need to launch attractive services to our customers”.

LogicaCMG, which employs around 100 people in Ireland, is a global solutions company providing management and IT consultancy, systems integration and outsourcing services. The company’s Irish workforce specialises in wireless networks and managed to turn in a profit in the six months to the end of 2002, whilst the rest of the company faltered amidst the harsh economic climate for IT and communications firms.

By John Kennedy