3 and MX Telecom launch Video Short Codes

London - 2nd December 2004

3, the UK's first video mobile network, today announced the launch of a range of video short codes in conjunction with MX Telecom. The video short code services are a world first, combining the 3G video calling channel with the concept of a 5 digit short code that content providers and brands can use to communicate with mobile phone users.

The idea behind video short codes is remarkably simple, but implementing the technology has taken some time. 3G handsets can "video call" each other, just as normal handsets can "voice call" each other. In a video call, each phone passes back a live and constant video feed to the other phone, by means of a camera which points at the phone user's face. People can therefore see each other during the conversation as well as hear each other.

With a video short code service, the 3G mobile phone user dials a 5 digit number, presses the "video call" button on their handset, and begins to view video directly on their handset. Importantly, their phone is still passing back a video feed, which can be utilised by the video short code service. This allows businesses to gather user-generated content, in addition to delivering high quality video to their customers. As the technology develops, content providers will be able to provide a live video feed over the internet, which will then be able to be delivered to the mobile phone. Indeed, MX Telecom already has plans to develop this functionality as soon as possible.

3G video calling has a number of significant advantages over downloading video through a WAP gateway, or viewing streaming video via a java application on the phone. Firstly, the quality of video is much higher. Secondly, the user experience is superior. Rather than taking time with WAP URLs, browsing WAP sites, and then having to find the video file once it has been downloaded, all the 3G user has to do is press 6 buttons - the 5 digits of the short code and the video call button. Within seconds they are connected to the video short code service and can start viewing video.

Thirdly, the file size limit with MMS and WAP Push tends to be around 100KB in the UK, which often only allows for a short, low quality video. 3G video can be delivered at a much higher quality for any length of time, with there also being no Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues, because the video content from a video call cannot be stored, or copied, unlike over WAP.

MX Telecom is also currently integrating their IVR (interactive voice response) platform with their video gateway, a process which they expect to be implemented shortly. This will add interactivity into the mix, with 3G users being presented with choices like "Press 1 for flim clips, 2 for football goal clips, 3 for news stories," etc.

"With video short codes offering higher video quality, longer video lengths, no DRM issues, and IVR interactivity, it is clear that they are going to be a great success," commented Mark Fitzgerald, MD of MX Telecom. "The user experience is so greatly improved over WAP that I think the only factor holding back video short codes is the current low penetrance of 3G handsets in the market. As that increases, I believe we are going to see these services become commonplace."

About MX Telecom

MX Telecom is a leader in wireless technology. MX Telecom offers an easily accessible gateway to data, voice and video messaging services including 2-way and premium SMS, multimedia messaging, interactive voice response, location-based services, video short codes, Internet and TV related solutions.

MX Telecom works with many of the world's top wireless carriers and maintains direct connections to dozens of carriers across North America, Europe and around the world for SMS, MMS, Video, Voice and Location-based services.

For more information, MX Telecom can be reached on 1-877-698-3532, or via email at press@mxtelecom.com.