Al Jawal to launch MMS on June 4

Al Jawal will have to continue to develop and deliver innovative services given the charge of the second GSM operator Mobily, which launched commercial services recently.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  May 29, 2005

Saudi Telecommunications Company’s mobile unit Al Jawal is set to launch MMS commercially on June 4, having been soft-trialling the service for a number of months. Picture messaging has been somewhat controversial in the kingdom due to cultural sensitivities that prohibited the capture of certain images, such as women who were deemed to be inappropriately dressed. “The Nokia 6600 received a bad name in the market because of an illegal image that was captured on one and exchanged by Bluetooth,” said Mohammed Al-Faraj, messaging and data department director of marketing at Al Jawal. Saudi subscribers adopted a negative perception to MMS as a result of incidence such as this one and it has taken some time to reposition the service positively, Al-Faraj said. Al Jawal will have to continue to develop and deliver innovative services given the charge of the second GSM operator Mobily, which launched commercial services recently. According to the operator’s CEO Khalid Al Kaf, Mobily has signed up 100,000 subscribers in its first four days of operation and is witnessing 11,000 online service activations per day. “We are not satisfied with this performance, and expect to triple this activation rate in the coming few weeks when we actively launch our marketing campaign, Al Kaf said.

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