O2, the UK's largest mobile phone operator, has announced a partnership with In-Fusio, adding the firm's extensive product portfolio to the growing number of games channels available on the recently launched i-mode Internet service.
i-mode is exclusively available on the O2 network in the UK, following its launch in October this year. The service is operated using a generous revenue sharing model, allowing In-Fusio to collect its revenue from subscription based services that are billed directly to the user's mobile phone bill. The standard subscription fee for gaming and entertainment services on i-mode is GBP 3.00 per month, and the flexible business model also allows partners to provide free and pay-per-download content at reduced rates to customers.
In-Fusio's Play Plus games service will launch on i-mode with numerous, regularly updated mobile games, including South Park, Zoo Tycoon 2 Mobile, Terminator I'm Back, Banjo-Kazooie Missions, Solitaire Gold and Age of Empires II Mobile. The company already provides Java games for the O2 Active WAP service, and has successfully launched its Play Plus service on i-mode in six different European territories.
Udi Jacobi, In-Fusio's director of sales, EMEA and South America, commented: "Following the successful launch of our Java games with O2 earlier this year we are delighted to be selected as one of the first mobile game offerings, at launch, on the i-mode service from O2.
In-Fusio's strategy has always been to provide the consumer with an easy-to-use and fun mobile game experience. This partnership will enable us to reach even more mobile gamers with a service and playability that millions have already come to expect."
The i-mode service, originally developed in Japan by NTT DoCoMo, is an increasingly popular alternative to WAP mobile services, offering consumers a fluid, fast and accessible mobile Internet service based on compact HTML coding. The creation of i-mode sites is simple and cost effective for content providers, and the rapidly increasing number of partners can enjoy a generous revenue stream thanks to O2's specifically created i-mode business model.
Grahame Riddell, head of i-mode marketing for O2 UK added: "In-Fusio has managed to capture the benefits of i-mode and joined the i-mode ecosystem to offer its users a compelling mobile experience. O2 wants to make developing mobile content as attractive and as easy for businesses as possible. The building of a strong content community both on and off portal will be critical to the success of the services."
"Our research clearly shows that consumers are willing to look at and pay for mobile content, and expectations are tied closely to a user's experience of the Internet. Use will be driven by periods of downtime, communication applications, like e-mail, and situational driven use, when information is needed instantly. The overriding point for consumers is that convenience is key," Riddell concluded.