Vodafone’s mobile internet portal live! is reported to have chalked up 100,000 users in Ireland and more than three million around the world. The figure represents 3.3pc of all live! sales and the highest penetration of mobile internet handsets per subscriber base across Vodafone’s worldwide family of companies.
Vodafone’s live! service was launched this time last year in eight countries and enabled mobile internet users to access picture messaging, game and polyphonic ringtone downloads and a wide range of infotainment on integrated camera phones, most notably the Nokia 3650, the Sharp GX-10 and Sharp GX-20 handsets.
Across the various European operations of Vodafone, its German operation has over one million live! users, followed by 710,000 in the UK and 430,000 in Italy.
“The launch of Vodafone live! has been the most successful launch of a new service in the history of the Vodafone Group”, said Vodafone Ireland chief executive Paul Donovan.”Vodafone live! is illustrative of the differentiation that Vodafone has created in the marketplace and has had a crucial impact on our competitive positioning. The service has been widely recognised in the industry as a way to increase consumer consumption of data services by removing significant barriers through its easy to use applications.”
According to the company the live! service is entering its next phase of development, with Vodafone planning to roll out the service under license across markets where Vodafone doesn’t have a presence, including France and Switzerland.
In terms of content, Vodafone has been signing high-profile deals including UEFA European football content, the BBC for video content such as clips of Fawlty Towers and Eidos for its Lara Croft Tomb Raider character. The company has also signed deals with Sony for a range of movie-related games including Charlie’s Angels and Stuart Little as well as major music companies including Universal and EMI.
According to communications analysis firm Ovum Vodafone is leading the pack in Europe in terms of mobile operators launching multimedia portals. Among other European operators launching multimedia portals during the year are O2 with Active, T-mobile with t-zones, Telefonica with e-mocion and the European i-mode services.
By John Kennedy