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Real-Time Information Delivered To Mobile Phones


Vodafone New Zealand and wireless information provider iTouch New Zealand have developed a system to deliver a range of real-time information directly to cellphones.

With the launch of iTouch New Zealand on Monday, April 17, Vodafone customers will soon have access to the latest news, sport, business, weather and entertainment information provided by iTouch, wherever they may be.

"The information age is now going mobile. People want information relevant to them to be accessible no matter where they are", said iTouch New Zealand's Managing Director, David Sweet.

"The service is like having all the news sources of the NZ Herald available through your mobile phone," Mr Sweet said.

Vodafone Managing Director John Rohan said the iTouch service added essential content for Vodafone's information-to-mobile technology.

The launch of the iTouch product follows closely behind the launch of `My Vodafone' earlier this month. `My Vodafone' is an Internet portal where mobile customers register to receive a full range of information services and emails to their phones.

"We've done the high tech work to deliver text data to and from mobile phones - but it is content like that from iTouch which will make the service valuable to customers," Mr Rohan said.

Vodafone New Zealand has been promoting its text based messaging service (SMS) in recent months with huge success.

"The growth of text messaging has been astronomical," said Mr Rohan. " On our last `free day' more than two million short messages were sent across the Vodafone network. Customers have been quick to understand that mobile phones are a tool to receive information as well as voice calls."

Mr Sweet said Vodafone New Zealand was a natural business partner because it had the only fully digital (GSM) mobile telephone network in the country. Only GSM enables text messages to be sent as well as received.

Mr Sweet said there would be a large variety of services available within each information category. In the business area, for example, customers would be able to obtain: * real-time prices for shares, commodities, currencies and unit trusts, * alerts of significant price movements, both general or specific, * security trading, * news headlines, * implementation of investment transactions, * portfolio performance summaries.

About iTouch

iTouch New Zealand is part of iTouch International, a division of the Independent News & Media PLC group of Dublin which also owns Wilson & Horton. iTouch International is a global leader in the delivery of wireless data services to mobile customers. It collects packages and distributes real-time information on a range of topics and in a variety of formats. Its technology also allows transactions, such as share trading and ticket purchases, to be carried out.

iTouch International is based in London and is more than 70% owned by Independent News & Media PLC. iTouch has operations in South Africa, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

About Vodafone New Zealand

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone AirTouch Plc, the world's largest mobile telecommunications company with more than 42 million customers, excluding paging customers. The company has interests in 24 countries over five continents.

Vodafone New Zealand now has in excess of 397,000 customers on its fully digital network and provides coverage to over 96% of the population.


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