RealTime IT News

Speedy Tomato Opens Portal in Finland

[London, ENGLAND] Never mind the ups and downs of computer manufacturer Apple or mobile operator Orange, on Tuesday it was Speedy Tomato setting the pace in Europe with the launch of a new portal in Finland.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Nordic communications company Telia, Speedy Tomato began life in September 2000 with the aim of becoming a user-friendly mobile portal. It has largely achieved that objective, being a service that develops in close dialogue with its users.

Tuesday's launch in Finland is the third in northern Europe for Speedy Tomato, which already operates mobile portals in Denmark and the U.K.

Zeth Nystrom, Speedy Tomato's chief executive, said that Finland was a big challenge, being one of the toughest markets in the world for mobile phones. Finland, he said, is always competing with Sweden over who comes top of the mobile Internet usage tables.

"I have good hopes we will succeed on the Finnish market as our concept regarding social technology is unique," added Nystrom.

Among the services offered on a fully operational Speedy Tomato portal are personal calendar and address book, e-mail direct to mobile phones, individually tailored news, adverts from personally selected companies, and news about finance, sports, and other topics.

The Finnish site will start with a limited range of services initially, but will add further services over the next three months, taking into account users' comments and requests.

Conceived as a tool to help people in their everyday lives, Speedy Tomato can be accessed in several ways, via the Web, or by WAP or PDA. Its ringing tone applications are being developed by Finnish Akumiitti Oy.

As for the portal's catchy name -- it appears to be an example of the company's inscrutable sense of humor. Prospective users can download an animated cartoon that demonstrates the service, but the final frame with its option to "Watch Again" is the only part that makes you laugh out loud.