[Madrid, SPAIN] Terra-Mobile, the mobile
Internet child of Terra Networks and Telefsnica Moviles, opened its global
Internet portal today offering content to both its own customers and those
of rival operators.
Along with mail service and personal agenda, the portal offers various
m-commerce functions, financial information, road and traffic information
with commuter itineraries, city guides, entertainment, chat, information
services and alerts for new, client-specific content.
In addition to customers of Telefsnica’s Movistar mobile service, users of
rival services like Airtel or Amena (which just hit the 3 million user
mark) will be able to access the portal. This is part of the Terra Mobile’s
stated stragegy to become the world leader in the mobile Internet. The
company said it hopes to reach a market of 812 million by 2004.
Terra-Mobile is 51 percent owned by Telefonica Moviles, with the other 49 percent
belonging to Terra Networks. Both companies are affiliates of Telefonica,
which has been aggressively pursuing UMTS licenses in third-generation
mobile auctions across Europe. The portal offers Terra content, readapted
for mobile phone screens.
The endeavor has been made possible by the recent purchase of the Finnish
mobile technology developer iobox, which Terra-Mobile purchased outright in
July for 230 million euros.
Terra-Mobile CEO Eliseo Sanchez told Noticias Intercom that the iobox
acquisition was the most expensive part of the new mobile project, and that
since the company is partly owned by Terra, there will no need to invest in
Telefonica Moviles represents the Telefonica Group’s mobile phone
interests, with nearly 24 million customers in Spain, Morocco, Brazil,
Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Puerto Rico. Terra Networks is the
Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world’s largest Internet content and
service provider, with 2.6 million ISP subscribers and close to 90 million
site hits per month. In May it announced the purchase of Lycos to create
Iobox started in Helsinki in 1999 and currently has a million users in
Finland, the U.K., Sweden and Germany and expects to operate soon in France,
Italy, Norway and the Netherlands. The company already has roughly 120
employees in 12 countries.