Weathernews Enters Italian Weather Content Market for Mobile Phones -- Providing Weather Information for i-mode Service of Italian Communications Giant, Wind --
Weathernews Inc., the world's largest full-service weather company in the private sector, on May 2 began providing weather content to Italian communications giant Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. (Wind; CEO: Tommaso Pompei; head office: Rome), thus entering the Italian weather information service market for mobile phones. This brings to 13 the number of countries/regions to which Weathernews provides services for mobile phones, and seven in Europe alone.
Mobile phone users in Italy number approximately 55 million and mobile phone carriers gross sales came to roughly 17.8 billion euros, making Italy one of the foremost mobile phone markets in the world. Wind, provider of the service, is a leading Italian communications company involved in the three areas of fixed-line, mobile, and Internet services. In the mobile sector, the company boasts 9.58 million subscribers (as of February 2004) and is the third largest mobile phone operator in the country. Wind has earned a reputation on a technological level, for example, of being the first in Italy to adopt Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and has also tried various pricing tactics as it is keen to develop a leading-edge service. In November last year, the company also began offering the value-added service of NTT DoCoMo's i-mode service.
The weather service that Weathernews is making available to Wind's customers allows them to browse weather conditions, satellite images, weather radar, temperature and rainfall readings, and other data for 345 locations throughout Italy and 158 regions abroad. One popular service also available in Japan employs an "alarm" function that sends an e-mail message notifying a person if rain is about to fall in a specified region and a display function that shows an easily recognizable illustration telling the person how strong the rain will be. The service offers complete weather information concerning popular sports, with a section providing snow and wave conditions for ski and marine sports, and another section that gives pin-point weather information for soccer stadiums or Formula 1 circuits, for instance. There is both free-of-charge and fee-based content, the fee-based content being priced at 1.5 euros per month.
In addition to the services currently available in seven European countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy), where Internet-ready mobile phones, including i-mode, are rapidly gaining popularity, Weathernews will gradually extend its services to prominent communications carriers.
Weathernews Inc. is the world's largest private weather service company.
It is the only global weather contents provider that has over 600 staffs (including more than 350 meteorologists) in 31 offices in the main cities around the world.
Weathernews offers a full range of weather content services based on a solid man & machine shareware system. In November 2003, Weathernews became the first weather service company ever listed on the 1st Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (4825).