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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 16:35 GMT
Vizzavi revamps revenue plans
Mobile phone with WAP access
New focus on ringtones, logos and games
Mobile internet firm Vizzavi has unveiled plans to shed about 100 jobs across Europe and overhaul its business model in a bid to reach profitability.

Vizzavi stuck to its target date for breaking even by the end of 2003, saying its joint owners, mobile operator Vodafone and media firm Vivendi Universal, were "confident" this would be achieved.

It also revealed a change of chief executive.

Evan Newmark, who has led Vizzavi since it was founded in May 2000, is to be replaced by Guy Laurence, the current head of marketing.

The 100 job losses will be spread across Vizzavi's eight European offices.

Getting the message

Vizzavi is a multi-access internet portal which provides information - such as news, sports updates and celebrity profiles - via the full gamut of devices, such as mobile phones, PCs and interactive TV.

The new business model "recognises the era of messaging services" and reflects the success of personalised ringtones and games.

Under the new business model, Vizzavi said, it will get 80% of all revenues generated through user payments for "premium content such as ringtones, logos, games and other downloads".

Vodafone and Vivendi's mobile operators will pass on up to 5% of the airtime revenues generated when users log onto Vizzavi's portal.

More users

"In this way, Vizzavi and the partner mobile operators will benefit from a targeted focus on a premium content platform aimed at increasing customer usage and revenue", the mobile internet firm said.

Vizzavi said rising user numbers for the final three months of 2001 demonstrated its achievement in growing the business.

Customer numbers were 42% up on the previous quarter at 6.3m, it said.

Average daily web page views were 4.1m, or 33% ahead of the previous quarter, and average daily page views by customers using WAP mobile phones soared 86% to 2.1m.

Vivendi chairman and chief executive Jean-Marie Messier said his firm will have "a very important role" as a content provider for Vizzavi.

The new model will "give more commercial and financial flexibility" for the multi-access portal's development, he added.

Vizzavi runs eight European portals, based in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

It co-owners, Vodafone and Vivendi, have 94.5m mobile venture customers across Europe.

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