Synchronica to Acquire Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging Business

  • Synchronica has conditionally agreed to acquire Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging business providing Email and Instant Messaging (IM) services to tier-1 mobile operators in North America.
  • Acquired technology includes Nokia’s industry-leading Email, IM and Social Networking Gateway and client software.
  • With the assignment of 10 operator contracts, Synchronica plans to service AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers, Telus and other operators in North America.
  • Deal will provide Synchronica with a complementary and successful North American business servicing more than 6 million active end users.
  • Long-term relationship between Synchronica and Nokia for continued development, maintenance and support of the messaging gateway and client software shipping with millions of Nokia phones.
  • Synchronica will continue development of the acquired messaging software and plans to merge the product with its own Mobile Gateway infrastructure software in a converged roadmap, adding key features such as document transcoding, PIM synchronization and RCS instant messaging.
  • The acquisition will extend Synchronica’s total addressable market across all carrier customers worldwide to approximately 1.8 billion end-users.

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS, United Kingdom--()--Synchronica plc, the emerging markets leader in next-generation mobile messaging services, today announced the conditional agreement to acquire Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging (OBM) business, which provides white-label mobile Email and Instant Messaging (IM) services across a wide range of devices to operators in North America.

The acquisition will provide Synchronica with a successful and complementary mobile messaging business and a strong foothold in the strategically important North American operator market. Combined with more than 80 existing carrier contracts in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Russia and Asia, Synchronica aims to become the global leader in next-generation mobile messaging. With Nokia’s assignment of ten operator contracts in North America, Synchronica’s total addressable market across all operator customers worldwide will extend to 1.8 billion end-users.

The terms of the acquisition include an assignment of mobile operator contracts as well as source code of the related Nokia Messaging client and server software. As part of the deal, Synchronica and Nokia will enter into a long-term relationship in which Synchronica will provide the messaging software which Nokia will continue to preload on Nokia Series 40 phones. Synchronica will assume responsibility for development, maintenance and support of the Nokia Messaging software shipping with millions of Nokia devices and the gateway functionality for both Series 40 and Symbian devices. Approximately 250 employees, externals and contractors are planned to transfer from Nokia to Synchronica.

The 10 North American carrier contracts planned to be transferred to Synchronica include tier-one carriers such as AT&T, Bell Canada, Rogers Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, with more than 6 million users actively using the Email and/or IM service.

The acquired messaging platform complements Synchronica’s flagship, carrier-grade Mobile Gateway messaging infrastructure software. Synchronica plans to continue to develop the acquired messaging platform and to merge both products to create a superior solution with significantly enhanced functionality.

Synchronica Mobile Gateway provides operators and device manufacturers with next-generation messaging services including push email, instant messaging, and social networking. Mobile Gateway 6 features Pre-RCS Unified Messaging capabilities, a presence-enabled address book, an ultra-lightweight J2ME client, support for xHTML browsers, and advanced document transcoding capabilities.

Nokia’s Operator Branded Messaging technology enables mobile operators to affordably deliver an operator-branded email experience on mobile devices via an easy to-use interface. MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Google mail/Gmail and multiple other portal/ISP email services are all supported via a single client on a mobile device. Similarly to email, multiple IM accounts, such as GoogleTalk, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, AOL and others are accessible via the IM clients.

Synchronica's CEO, Carsten Brinkschulte added: "This acquisition marks a key milestone for Synchronica as we move closer to our goal of becoming the leading global player for next-generation mobile messaging. Nokia’s successful and highly complementary Operator Branded Messaging business will at a stroke transform Synchronica’s scale, profitability and geographic scope. We look forward to forging successful, long-term partnerships with the carrier customers in North America for providing mass-market, Operator Branded Messaging services, as well as with Nokia for ongoing development and support of the Nokia Messaging Services.”

The transaction is conditional on regulatory and shareholder approval and expected to close in Q3, 2011.

About Synchronica

Synchronica plc is a leading developer of next-generation mobile messaging solutions. Synchronica’s customer base comprises more than 80 mobile operators and eight device manufacturers worldwide (as at 30 March 2011). Synchronica’s total addressable end-user market, based on mobile operator deployments, was 1.3 billion (as at 31 December 2010).

Mobile Gateway, Synchronica's flagship product, provides push email, synchronization, instant messaging (IM), and social networking services to any mobile phone currently in use. Synchronica's patented transcoding engine uses advanced streaming to download email attachments and can dramatically reduce the consumption of network bandwidth by as much as 90 percent.

Mobile operators and device manufacturers from emerging and developed markets rely on Synchronica's white-labelled product for providing mass market messaging services across the entire customer base, diversifying revenues and reducing churn.

Headquartered in England, Synchronica also maintains a development center in Germany and the Philippines in addition to a regional presence in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Spain, and Dubai. Synchronica plc is a public company traded on the AIM list of the London Stock Exchange (SYNC) and the Venture Exchange of the Toronto Stock Exchange (SYN). For further information, please visit www.synchronica.com

Contacts

Synchronica plc
Nicole Meissner
Chief Operating Officer
Tel.: +44 1892 5527 80
Mobile: +44 7977 2564 12
Fax: +44 1892 5527 21
nicole.meissner@synchronica.com

Contacts

Synchronica plc
Nicole Meissner
Chief Operating Officer
Tel.: +44 1892 5527 80
Mobile: +44 7977 2564 12
Fax: +44 1892 5527 21
nicole.meissner@synchronica.com