Acotel acquires Info2cell.com

European wireless application service provider Acotel makes entry into Middle East by acquiring 100 per cent stake in Info2cell.com.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  February 4, 2003

European wireless application service provider Acotel has acquired 100 per cent stake in Info2cell.com. Info2cell.com’s management will remain the same and it will handle Acotel’s operations in the region. Acotel currently provides personalised, wireless value-added services to more than 35 million subscribers through partnerships with other wireless network operations in Europe and Latin America. The acquisition will enable it to offer similar services in the Middle East.

“The Middle East market carries a huge potential for the development of messaging services in view of the dramatic increase in the number of mobile phones and buoyant projections for future growth,” stated Claudio Carnevale, CEO and chairman of Acotel Group.

"We are delighted to enter the market at a time when the convergence between the PC and the mobile phone has triggered a new generation of services including Jinny Instant Messaging (JIM), which has been developed by Acotel to support SMS, MMS and EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service). JIM allows subscribers with mobile phones (both GSM and GPRS) to connect to the JIM platform using SMS, WAP, J2ME or through a PDA or PC,” he added.

Acotel's decision to enter the Middle East market for mobile messaging has been a cautious one, spread out over two years since 2000 when the European giant first acquired a 33 per cent stake in Info2cell.com. Following the complete acquisition of the company, Acotel has linked the Info2cell.com development centre in Jordan to its development centers in Beirut and Rome.

In a statement to mark the occasion, Dr. Fawaz H. Al Zu'bi, Jordan's minister of Information and Communications Technology, said: “Info2cell.com represents a role model for Middle East IT companies and a perfect example of leveraging the synergies of two of the region's most dynamic IT-driven economies.

“Info2cell.com has used Jordan as the back office development centre for content management systems that form the backbone of Info2cell services and as the editorial hub with a highly sophisticated newsroom and information-gathering centre...With a global company like Acotel now joining hands with Info2cell.com, there will certainly be a positive impact on the running the company and its range of services, bringing new technology and expertise to the region,” he added.

Dubai Internet City also welcomed the entry of Acotel to the region. Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman, CEO of Dubai Internet City, said: “Acotel's strong entry into the region sends the right signal to the world that the Middle East region is ripe for hi-tech communications technology.
It also consolidates the stature of Dubai Internet City as the base of operations for the one of the most innovative and forward looking IT companies in the world. We welcome companies like Acotel because they bring technology investments that will raise the standards of communication services in the region. We have no doubt that the full support of Acotel to the Info2cell.com operations will infuse a new dynamism in messaging services and bring them on par with the best in the world.”

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