O2 First to Join Bebo Open Mobile

London / New York – February 12, 2009 - Bebo, the global social media network, today announced that O2 has become the first UK operator to receive Bebo Open Mobile Partner status.

Launched last week, Bebo Open Mobile is a global partnership program for mobile operators, handset manufacturers and mobile software developers. The initiative offers Partners a suite of tools to support the delivery of the Bebo social networking experience to mobile users.

Sean Kane, Global Head of Mobile, Bebo, says: "Bebo Open Mobile is already succeeding in delivering an improved mobile experience for our customers and increased revenue for operators. Welcoming O2 as a Partner is a positive start for Bebo Open Mobile. We look forward to collaborating with O2 on more of its innovate offerings as we extend the Bebo Open Mobile suite of tools."

As a Bebo Open Mobile Partner, O2 will become the first UK operator to benefit from access to the program's mobile Internet, messaging and media technologies. O2 will collaborate with Bebo to offer exclusive mobile content to its users, as afforded by its Bebo Open Mobile Partner status.

Antony Douglas, Head of Content at O2, added: "We know how important social networks are to our customers and have seen huge traffic growth to Bebo and other social networking sites over our portal. Becoming a Bebo Open Mobile Partner will further enhance the experience for our customers."

Specifically, O2 and Bebo are today announcing the deployment of:

  • Bebo Open Mobile Internet: O2 and Bebo have launched an O2 version of the Bebo mobile platform with O2 Active navigation, support for mobile advertising and a range of customised O2 features
  • Bebo Open Mobile Messaging: O2 is the first operator to deploy the Bebo Open Mobile Messaging tools. O2 customers can immediately receive Bebo alerts and updates on their mobile phones through the 62326 (MBEBO) short code. Additionally, O2 customers can update their Bebo profiles, add photos to their gallery, participate in special offers and interact with friends through the short code


The two companies soft launched the O2 version of the Bebo mobile platform in late December. The site has already experienced over 60% growth in traffic in just 4 weeks.

Bebo expects to make further announcements regarding Bebo Open Mobile Partners and initiatives throughout 2009.

About Bebo
Bebo is a popular social media network. Building on the notion of traditional social networking Web sites, Bebo combines community, self-expression and entertainment to enable its users to consume, create, discover and share professional and user-generated content through the Bebo Web site. Bebo has more than 22 million unique visitors worldwide who spend an average of 25 minutes* a day on the site.
Bebo forms part of AOL's newly created People Networks business unit which combines Bebo, the AIM (excluding AIM Mail) and ICQ personal communications networks, widget technology company Goowy Media, social search and answer service Yedda and social aggregation service Socialthing!, People Networks' collection of community platforms reaches 94 million* unduplicated users worldwide. Bebo is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, December 2008

About O2
• Telefónica O2 UK Limited is a leading communications company for consumers and businesses in the UK, with 19.1 million mobile customers and over 260,000 fixed broadband customers as at 30 September 2008.
• Telefónica O2 UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which is a business division of Telefónica S.A. and which owns O2 in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic, and has 44.9 million customers.
• In 2006 Telefónica Europe acquired Be, the UK fixed broadband provider, and in October 2007 O2 launched its broadband service using the Be network.
• O2 is the naming rights partner of The O2, the world-class entertainment venue.
• O2 was ranked the 6th best place to work in the Best Companies to Work for 2008 List and has been awarded a three-star accreditation denoting an 'extraordinary' company.
• O2 was launched on 1 May 2002 and now has more customers than any other UK mobile network.
• O2's UK mobile network covers 99% of the UK's population. O2's 3G network covers over 80% of the UK population and is fully HSDPA-enabled, providing speeds of up to 1.8 MBps for customers with an HSDPA-enabled device.
• Telefónica Europe also owns 50% of the Tesco Mobile and Tchibo Mobilfunk joint venture businesses in the UK and Germany.
• For b-roll footage of O2, please visit www.digitalnewsagency.com
• For further press information about O2 go to http://mediacentre.o2.co.uk

Contact:

Firefly Communications for Bebo
020 7386 1598
beboteam@fireflycomms.com

O2 Press Office
01753 565656

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