Linktone (Nasdaq: LTON), a provider of wireless value-added services in China, today announced its commercial offering of short messaging services (SMS) to the personal handyphone system (PHS) subscribers of China Telecom (CT) and China Netcom (CNC).
The company also now provides the two operators' fixed-line subscribers with interactive voice response (IVR) services.
In the first phase of a nationwide roll-out, Linktone has introduced all of its SMS entertainment products–ranging from ring tone and icon downloads to interactive multiplayer games and horoscope and community services–to CT end users in five provinces including Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian, and to CNC end users in 10 provinces. The company plans to make minor product alterations to adapt its wireless services to PHS platforms, which accommodate fewer Chinese characters than typical 2G platforms such as GSM and CDMA.
In addition, Linktone's IVR platforms have been connected to China Netcom's and China Telecom's fixed-line phone networks. The company currently offers five IVR products, including song dedication, entertainment news and life information, across these networks.
China Telecom, which principally operates fixed-line networks in the 21 provinces of southern China, currently has approximately 37 million PHS subscribers. China Netcom, which operates a wireline business in the 10 northern provinces, today serves 17 million PHS subscribers. As of July 2004, there were at total of 299 million fixed-line phone subscribers in China.