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ebookers.com Does WAP Deal with Carphone Warehouse

[June 16] European travel specialist ebookers.com said Friday it has entered a two-year WAP alliance with Mviva, the mobile Internet portal announced this week by Carphone Warehouse.

The deal will give ebookers.com pride of place as the preferred supplier of travel services on the Mviva portal which is due to launch later in the summer.

AOL Europe has taken a 15 percent stake in Mviva and has agreed to supply functionality, content, and marketing for the venture. For its part, Carphone Warehouse will put Mviva on the mobile phones it sells in its 320 high street stores in the U.K.

Dinesh Dhamija, chief executive of ebookers.com, said this latest deal was a perfect fit with the company's multi-channel access strategy.

"We believe that ebookers.com's reputation for value and service will make us a favorite site for users of the new portal," claimed Dhamija.

Speaking for Mviva, Managing Director Max Alexander said that travel services would be a major focus for the WAP portal.

"We are determined that Mviva will offer its customers the best possible service, choice and content. Our deal with ebookers.com will help us to achieve this aim," said Alexander.

ebookers.com has recently announced other WAP deals, including a partnership with BT Cellnet and its Genie Internet Services. It also has a similar arrangement with France Telecom's consumer WAP service Itineris Services, and the WAP portal Voila Mobile.

A frenzy of activity continues to take place in the European WAP sector, tempered only by occasional warnings that WAP can only deliver a very pale version of Internet content.

Norway's WAP information portal wapland.com said recently that a staggering 50 percent of top European sites already offer a WAP version for wireless surfers.