Vodafone introduces instant messaging to its networks

19 Aug 2001

Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”) announces today that is has signed a global agreement with Followap, the leading provider of Instant Messaging services for mobile operators, whereby Followap will be the sole provider of Vodafone’s Instant Messaging global platform.

Followap has already begun to roll out its iFollow family of products to Vodafone’s operators, including Omnitel-Vodafone in Italy and Eircell in Ireland.  iFollow will be rolled out on a Vodafone specific platform across the remaining major networks during the second half of the year.  Vodafone customers will be able to form wireless communities, participate in chats, locate and communicate with their friends by using mobile phones, PCs, PDAs and other wireless and internet-based devices.

Instant Messaging is a faster and more efficient way to communicate using text messages via SMS or WAP with different wireless communities.  iFollow enables customers to authorise their presence on the network as well as their location to their “buddy” lists.  This enables efficient person-to-person and person-to-group communication.

Fritz Joussen, Global Product Management Director for Vodafone, said:

“This is a significant step in our ability to offer our customers advanced mobile services on a global basis. SMS already contributes a significant amount of revenue to Vodafone.  Instant Messaging will help drive a new wave of SMS communication across our networks generating further revenues in this important messaging sector.”

For further information contact:

Vodafone Group Plc
Tim Brown, Group Corporate Affairs Director
Melissa Stimpson, Head of Group Investor Relations
Darren Jones, Senior Investor Relations Manager
Jon Earl, Investor Relations Manager
At Vodafone Group Plc
+44 (0) 1635 673310

Lulu Bridges/Sarah Landgrebe
Tavistock Communications
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7600 2288