Vivendi and Vodafone renegotiate Vizzavi
LONDON - Vizzavi, the Vodafone and Vivendi internet portal mobile, is abandoning its reliance on mobile delivery to expand into other platforms as the two firms renegotiated the terms of their joint venture partnership.
The two companies declined to give further details of their plans. However, it was reported earlier this year that the two were planning to make swingeing job cuts in an attempt to cut costs, amid reports that Vizzavi has missed self-imposed subscriber number targets and is struggling to overcome technology problems.
The portal was created last year to provide information and services to Europe's wireless device users.
The portal's growth has been thwarted by the slow take-up of mobile technology, such as Wap, and low mobile handset sales. It recently missed a self-imposed subscriber number target of 2m users by the end of June.
Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier said the revised model was based on the expectation that the future of the market will be distribution of content via various platforms.
Messier said: "Tomorrow's world will no longer be that of the micro-computer. Whoever provides multi-screen services at low cost will be the winner long term.
"The dominant business model we will see emerging will be based to a significant extent on subscriptions and give whoever provides both content and services the lion's share of sales."
Messier added that he expects Vivendi's internet activities to move into profit by the end of 2003-early 2004 and that the company will launch a mass-market GPRS -- the next generation of mobile internet technology -- in the second quarter of 2002.
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