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ZTE Turns VAS Provider; Partners With Vodafone For MMS Newspaper

The Indian arm of Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE, has turned into a value added services provider and is planning to aggressively expand its VAS offerings.

The company has partnered with Vodafone Essar to offer Vodafone Newswrap, a new service developed by ZTE for mobile subcribers of the country's second largest telecom firm. Newswrap will bring news updates to subscribers via MMS. It requires an active Vodafone live! connection and will deliver two MMS updates per day in five categories - Sports, National, International, Entertainment and Business. The subscription charge for the service is Rs 1 per day or Rs 5 for a week or Rs 20 per month.

Besides developing the mobile newspaper service and multimedia messaging service centre platform, it will run the service under a revenue sharing model with Vodafone.

""We will expand our VAS offerings and aggressively focus on attaining leadership in the segment by offering innovative VAS solutions," said Cui Liangjun, CEO, ZTE India.

India's mobile value added services market is set to rise to Rs 55,000 crore in the next four years, according to a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers report. The key drivers for this growth will be multilingual content, application support around languages, killer applications and readiness of handsets.

ZTE will compete with a score of local players such as One97 Communications, OnMobile, Netcore Solutions, CanvasM Technologies, Geodesic, Affle, SMS Gupshup and Mobile2Win.

Recently, One97 Communications invested an undisclosed amount in Singapore-based LeapSky Wireless, which provides easy-to-use 3G/Wifi based mobile data services while Techzone, a Chennai-based mobile value added service provider, announced it will invest Rs 30 crore in new services.

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