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Vodafone Portugal Selects RealNetworks To Upgrade Its Ringback Tone Business

RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNWK), the inventor of ringback tones, today announced it has been selected by mobile telecommunications company Vodafone Portugal to offer a fully managed ringback tone service to its five million subscribers. The partnership enables Vodafone Portugal to provide its customers with a customized ringback tone experience powered by 

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RealNetworks' platform. RealNetworks® will become the single ringback tone provider in Portugal as Vodafone Portugal migrated all ringback tone customers to RealNetworks' platform.

Customers will be able to personalize their mobile experience by replacing their standard ringback tone with their favorite music tracks, which callers may listen to and enjoy before the call is answered. Vodafone will now be able to offer its customers a truly dynamic user experience based on a world-class smartphone experience and distinctive audio quality enabled by the Vodafone next generation 4G network.

While ringback tones have been successful in Portugal, mobile carriers operating in the country commonly believe that synergies need to be created in order to reinvigorate the service. RealNetworks' managed services will give mobile network operators significant advantages in fully customizing subscribers' entertainment experiences while creating new revenue streams. The Vodafone Portugal offering is an important step for RealNetworks as the company continues to lead innovation in the ringback tone business through a new smartphone-centric approach.

RealNetworks will further develop unique and advanced propositions in conjunction with all major stakeholders in Portugal, including:

  • carriers
  • music labels
  • independent artists
  • media partners
  • advertisement agencies

"Vodafone Portugal is a pioneer that wants to offer appealing content and media services as a way to delight subscribers and differentiate their services," said Allen Dickson, vice president, EMEA, RealNetworks. "RealNetworks' managed services will offer them significant advantages in fully customizing their subscribers' entertainment experiences while creating new revenue streams."

"With this deal, Vodafone brings its ringback tone offering to a world-class status, making an appealing proposition available to our expanding high-value convergent user base," said Luis Cardoso, head of VAS, Vodafone. "We chose RealNetworks because of its proven success in providing market-leading, fully-managed ringback tone services to mobile operators across the globe."

RealNetworks, in partnership with other carriers around the world, manages more than 20 million active global ringback tone subscribers across tier-one markets in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2002, RealNetworks' WiderThan Division launched the world's first ringback tone service with SK Telekom in South Korea.