Mi-Fone Launches Synchronica-Enabled Mass-Market Messaging Devices for Africa

Highlights:

  • Fast-growing African handset manufacturer launches Mi-Q200 range of devices powered by Synchronica Mobile Gateway and targeted towards 'tech-savvy' Africans

  • Stylish, MediaTek-based QWERTY handsets deliver an affordable BlackBerry-like experience and retail from sub US$80

  • Launch demonstrates Synchronica's successful strategy of targeting device manufacturers as well as mobile operators in emerging markets with its mobile messaging software

  • Mobile Gateway provides messaging directly to the native Mi-Fone device clients

  • Demonstration available at Hall 2, Stand 2A35, Mobile World Congress

Hall 2, Stand 2A35 - Mobile World Congress, Spain, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - Synchronica plc ("Synchronica" or "the Company") (AIM:SYNC; TSX VENTURE:SYN) the international provider of next-generation mobile messaging services, announces that fast-growing handset manufacturer Mi-Fone (www.mi-fone.mobi) has launched  the Mi-Q200 family of  devices which are bundled with Synchronica's Mobile Gateway next-generation mobile messaging technology.

Launched in 2008, Mi-Fone has signed several contracts to supply their handsets to large mobile operators in the Middle East and Africa region. The brand is focused on developing aspirational, affordable handsets that are aimed at the 'tech-savvy' African and Indian youth market.  

Available immediately at a retail cost in the region of US$80, the Mi-Q200 QWERTY handsets are powered by Synchronica's white-labelled Mobile Gateway infrastructure software. With Push Email, Data Synchronization, Instant Messaging and access to popular Social Networks, the Mi-Q200 family of devices provide a BlackBerry-like service at an affordable price.

With 34 mobile operator customers already licensing Mobile Gateway in the Middle East and Africa, Synchronica has become a significant player in this fast-growing region. Mi-Fone is Synchronica's first handset manufacturer customer to exclusively focus on the Middle East and Africa, and Synchronica will benefit from a monthly per user hosting fee, in addition to licence fees and a 12-month support and maintenance contract.

Mi-Fone's Mi-Q200 family of devices are based on the popular MediaTek platform, optimized for Mobile Gateway to provide messaging services directly to the native clients found on the device. This unique approach delivers the best possible user experience with minimal memory footprint enabling Smartphone-like features even on these affordable devices.

Alpesh Patel, Founder and CEO at Mi-Fone, commented: "Synchronica's Mobile Gateway mass-market advanced messaging solution stands out from competitive solutions because we can brand it as our own and because it allows us to deliver a great, BlackBerry-like user experience on our latest Mi-Q handset models. We expect these Synchronica-enabled devices to be a hit with the young, urban Africans that want a cool phone without an expensive price tag."

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica, said: "As a forward-thinking device manufacturer operating in a number of high-growth yet highly competitive emerging markets, Mi-Fone has chosen to differentiate its offering with an addictive and compelling white-label mobile messaging solution from Synchronica. We are excited to work with Mi-Fone and are looking forward to introduce a winning combination of device and service delivering affordable aspiration to the fast-growing pan-African market."

According to the Informa report "Africa's Mobile Telecoms Market" (April 2010), there is tremendous potential for subscriber growth in Africa given that there were just over 450 million active subscriptions across the region at the end of 2009, a penetration rate below 45 percent. The significant market potential in Africa is illustrated by Informa's forecast that mobile data revenues will rise from US$4.45 billion in 2009 to US$10.64 billion in 2014.

About Synchronica

Synchronica plc is a leading developer of next-generation mobile messaging solutions. 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 centre 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

Cautionary Statements
The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of Synchronica plc. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance or results, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from Synchronica's plans and expectations. These plans, expectations, risks and uncertainties are detailed herein and from time to time in the public filings and announcements made by Synchronica, including those made with AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange, with the TSX Venture Exchange or with securities regulators.  Synchronica does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.   No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

SOURCE Synchronica plc

For further information:

Synchronica plc

www.synchronica.com
      Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO

Angus Dent, CFO

Nicole Meissner, COO
      +44 (0) 7977 256 406

+44 (0) 7977 256 347

+44 (0) 7977 256 412
                 
TMX | Equicom       Craig MacPhail       416 815 0700, ext. 290

cmacphail@equicomgroup.com

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