Telecom (NZ) Partners with Bebo to Provide Exclusive Mobile Services

Telecom in New Zealand named Bebo Open Mobile Core Partner in exclusive mobile service partnership

March 26, 2009 - People Networks today announced that it will be deploying Bebo Open Mobile Internet, Messaging and Content across Telecom New Zealand's (Telecom) new mobile network by June of this year. Telecom has been designated as the only Bebo Open Mobile Core Partner in New Zealand with exclusive access to certain Bebo mobile content and services.

Officially launched in January of this year, 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.

Bebo Open Mobile has achieved considerable industry adoption, driving rapid growth in Bebo's mobile usage. In February, Bebo reported that January mobile page views grew by 44%* and text messaging traffic grew by 13%* month on month following the launch of Bebo Open Mobile.

"Bebo Open Mobile has achieved great success in making Bebo mobile the place for users to connect with everyone and everything they care about and Bebo continues to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of its users in New Zealand," said Sean Kane, Global Head of Mobile, Bebo. "We therefore look forward to working closely with Telecom as it takes the lead as the first New Zealand network to deliver Bebo Open Mobile to connect customers with their friends and content, wherever they may be."

Telecom Retail CEO, Alan Gourdie believes the partnership is further proof that the launch of Telecom's new mobile network by June of this year will deliver services and content that changes the mobile game in New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to be exclusively partnering with the leading social networking site in New Zealand, Bebo. Customers constantly tell us they want the ability to connect anywhere, anytime, anyway, this partnership is the ultimate expression of that and a real signal of the exciting things we'll be launching on our new mobile network," said Mr. Gourdie.

Specifically, Bebo Open Mobile will offer Telecom customers:

  • Bebo Open Mobile Internet: Telecom and Bebo have launched a customized version of the Bebo Open Mobile Internet platform with exclusive Telecom navigation and branding, as well as directed promotions around content
  • Bebo Open Mobile Messaging: Bebo Open Mobile Messaging tools will provide both SMS and MMS messaging to Telecom customers. Users will receive Bebo SMS alerts and updates on their mobile phones through a short code and gain the exclusive ability to upload photos to their Bebo profile via this short code. Additionally, Telecom customers can update their Bebo profiles, add photos to their gallery, give virtual gifts and interact with friends through the short code
  • Bebo Open Mobile Development API: Telecom also becomes the first operator in New Zealand to receive a license for developing mobile applications with an exclusive provision for Bebo-branded services preloaded on its phones
  • Bebo Open Mobile Content: Telecom is the launch partner for this program and customers will be able to access a customized version of Bebo from their Telecom mobile including specific promotions and exclusive content

Exclusive Bebo services will be available on Telecom new network mobiles from June of this year and Bebo expects to make further announcements regarding Bebo Open Mobile partners and initiatives throughout 2009.

Source for metrics data in this release:
* Bebo internal data January 2009
** ComScore Media Metrix, February 2009
*** Custom AOL-defined People Networks report, based on comScore Media Metrix Audience Duplication report (February 2009)

About Bebo
Bebo is your life online. It is a social experience the helps you discover what's going on with your world and helps the world discover what's going on with you. Bebo has more than 23 million** unique visitors worldwide and on the days that they use Bebo, they spend an average of 23 minutes** on the site.

Bebo forms part of the AOL 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, social aggregation service Socialthing! and Userplane. People Networks' collection of community platforms reaches 89 million*** unduplicated users worldwide. Bebo is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

Contact:
Sarah Gavin
AOL People Networks
+44 (0)20 7291 4903
sarah@beboinc.com

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