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3 Group and Microsoft sign global mobile services agreement

MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail to be available on
3 Group networks via mobile software clients and portals

Hong Kong, 20 March 2006 - Hutchison Whampoa's division, 3 Group, the leading global player in the 3G arena, and Microsoft today announced plans to deliver seamless access to Microsoft's communication services, MSN® Messenger and MSN® Hotmail, through the 3 portal and installed software clients on 3G handsets. These services will provide millions of customers with different ways to stay in touch using their 3G mobile phone.

The agreement

This agreement enables 3 to offer access to MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger from a browser or by a downloaded and pre-installed software client. As part of the agreement, all services offered will bring the familiar look and feel of MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail on a PC, to a 3 mobile - providing customers with a convenient way to stay in-touch on the move using an experience with which they are already accustomed. By connecting MSN and 3 customers, both companies expect more frequent interaction between mobile-to-mobile, and PC-to-mobile customers.

The agreement brings together a community of millions of MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger users and 3 customers worldwide. MSN Hotmail is one of the world's largest web-based e-mail services, with 230 million active e-mail accounts1 and MSN Messenger, the world's most used free instant messaging service, has 205 million customers worldwide2. Initially, the services will be available to over five million customers of 3 in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Australia (via ninemsn) and Hong Kong, with plans to expand the service to other 3 markets.


MSN Messenger, provided as a rich instant messenger mobile software client, will allow 3 customers to see the "presence" of their Messenger contacts and exchange messages when these contacts are on their PC or on the move with a 3 mobile. The client version provides a rich feature set that provides the user with an always available Messenger experience.

In addition, the 3 group of companies will allow access to MSN Hotmail through the 3 portal, allowing 3's customers to use their existing MSN username and password on their 3 mobile. The MSN Hotmail experience on a 3 mobile will enable customers to perform their normal e-mail functions such as read, send and delete e-mails as well as get an 'at a glance' inbox view.

Later this year, 3 will also be able to offer access to Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail, two of the exciting next generation software services from Microsoft that puts the user in control and connects them to the people and information that matter most.

Christian Salbaing, Managing Director at Hutchison Europe Telecommunications commented: "3 is committed to providing its customers with the widest choice of communications access platforms. We believe our 12 million 3G customers will be delighted to be able to use MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger on our 3G networks. Communications environments and platforms are converging and it is our job to give customers more choice to communicate with each other. 3 is delighted to be working with Microsoft to make this happen."

"This is an exciting time for Microsoft and Hutchison. Together we are offering, for the first time, mobile software clients on a broad range of handsets to a vast customer base in Europe," said Geoff Sutton, Regional General Manager for MSN EMEA. "By way of this agreement, we are expanding our customers' ability to make smart communication choices to connect instantly to the people they care about most."


About 3 Group

A division of Hutchison Whampoa, the 3 Group together with Hutchison Telecommunications International, is the leading global player in the 3G arena, holding licences in 10 markets with total population coverage of approximately 175 million. In less than three years, the 3 Group has built an entirely new network, achieving probably the fastest rollout of a radio network in the entire telecom industry. Marketed globally under the 3 brand, the group is also the first operator in the world to provide dual-mode 3G services.

To date, commercial 3G services has been launched in Italy, the UK, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel and the Republic of Ireland. For more information about 3, please visit

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For media inquiries

Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Laura Cheung
Tel: +852 2128 1289

Euginie Kwok
Tel: +852 2128 1343

1 Source: MSN internal date, December 2005
2 Source: MSN internal date, December 2005