O2 EMBRACES MICROSOFT WINDOWS MOBILE® 6

RUNNING ON WINDOWS MOBILE PATFORM

AMANULLAH BASHAR
July 16 - 22, 2007

O2 Asia Pacific and Middle East ("O2 AP & ME"), the leading provider of innovative, premium mobile data devices and services in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets, has announced plans to launch the new Windows Mobile® 6 operating system across its family of devices.

O2 has already completed its testing of Windows Mobile 6 on the Xda Atom Life. Users of this multimedia powerhouse can access a free download of Windows Mobile 6 Professional from O2's portal, SeeO2.com. They can also get their Xda Atom Life upgraded at their local service center if they prefer.

Actually, this latest version recently launched in Pakistan, the Xda Atom Life is the fastest PDA-phone running on the Windows Mobile platform, and really packs a punch with a range of productivity and entertainment features. It is the newest member in O2's popular Xda Atom series of products.

This innovative product is well poised to revolutionise the output of media related activities resulting in faultless performance in the shortest possible time.

"O2 carries out a stringent testing process to ensure that all software incorporated into our devices work efficiently and effectively. This is to prevent possible software faults and integration issues,' explained Nils Wallnas, VP Product Planning & Management, O2 AP & ME. "We need to ensure that the special applications that O2 has developed for an improved user experience, like O2 SMS Plus and O2 MediaPlus, work seamlessly on the new operating system."

With effect from June 2007, new units of the Xda Atom Life will come preinstalled with Windows Mobile 6. In the meantime, O2 has begun testing the new Windows Mobile platform on its other products as well as upcoming products, including the Xda Flame, the first PDA-phone to offer a dedicated graphics processor for better business performance and multimedia capability. It plans to move the rest of its 2007 product roadmap onto the Windows Mobile 6 platform and will announce them throughout the rest of the year.

DELIVERING GREAT PERFORMANCE AND VALUE

With a host of new features and enhancements, Windows Mobile 6 provides increased value for customers in several key areas, including messaging and collaboration, infrastructure interoperability, security features and platform development.

Windows Mobile 6 delivers the ability to view email in their original rich HTML format with live links to Web and SharePoint® sites. This means text and images are displayed as they would be on a PC, and available from a corporate email server, such as Exchange Server 2007, from Web-based accounts like Windows LiveTM Hotmail or other popular service providers. Windows Mobile 6 also includes Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which provides customers with a rich set of Windows Live services. Hotmail users can now have push email as well as chat with more than one person at one time, express themselves through animated figures, quickly send a file or image, or record and send voice notes through Windows Live Messenger.

This platform also offers the most genuine Microsoft Office system experience in mobile versions of Office Outlook®, Office Word, Office Excel® and Office PowerPoint® by bringing capabilities once available only on the PC versions of these products to the small screen. This allows users to neatly view, navigate and edit Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in their original formatting, without affecting tables, images or text, and to view presentations on their mobile device.†

All Windows Mobile 6-powered devices include Direct Push Technology for up-to-date email delivery and automatic synchronisation of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server, as well as a set of important device security and management features, such as a remote wipe capability for stolen and lost devices.

"O2's aim is to embrace technology innovation that enhances the user experience, whether hardware or software," said Mark Billington, CEO, O2 AP & ME. "Windows Mobile 6 promises to offer significant benefits including improved ease of use and greater productivity for our customers."

REDUCTION IN MOBILE SIM TAXES

In the backdrop of tremendous growth of cellular population in Pakistan, the mobile companies assisted by their international association (GSMA) have been actively lobbying for abolishment of taxes paid on mobile activation.

They forward the view that reduction in taxes would in turn help generate further demand for cellular services in Pakistan.

The amount of tax per SIM earlier stood at Rs500, which due to intense competition, is in large part being absorbed by cellular companies bringing down the effective cost for the end user. As a result, cellular subscribers are still clocking in whopping 2.8million additions per month and the government is likely to carefully assess whether a reduction of taxes is justified or required.

The government has however allowed a reduction in taxes instead of complete abolishment. While competitive pressures could result in some benefit of the potential tax reduction being passed on to end customer, companies are likely to retain a portion of that benefit.