Nokia Siemens and Orange to provide Blyk mobile phone network

Nokia Siemens Networks to build and host core network, Orange to provide signal for advertising-funded virtual mobile operator launching in the UK later this year.

Nokia Siemens Networks has agreed a deal to host the full core network of innovative virtual mobile phone operator Blyk.

The company, formed from the merged networking businesses of Nokia and Siemens will supply, build and host Blyk's core network as it offers free, advertiser-funded mobile telephony service.

"In its first-ever full mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) hosting arrangement, Nokia Siemens Networks will be hosting the entire operation of Blyk's core network," the networks joint venture said in a statement. Nokia Siemens Networks has set its sights on growing its managed services and hosting operations, where it maintains and administers networks on behalf of other operators.

Blyk provides free calls and text messaging to 16-24 year-old subscribers funded by mobile advertisements delivered directly to their phones. Blyk will initially offer its mobile services in the UK, before expanding to other European countries. Blyk is scheduled to start operations in the UK in mid-2007 and will use the Orange mobile phone network for its delivery infrastructure.

Virgin Mobile

Tesco Mobile

Fresh Mobile

Asda

No financial details relating to the Blyk deal have been announced.

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