Financial Times Group and The Carphone Warehouse launch FT Mobile

Service provides personalised, tailored business information to alleviate information overload.

An NOP study of UK executives has found that a combination of peer pressure and self-induced information overload is directly affecting company performance as:

  • One hour each day is spent searching for relevant news and facts by executives
  • One third of executives face a daily struggle to keep up with relevant information
  • 42% of male executives feel exposed without reading the day's news
  • Over 60% said tailored information would help them perform their job better
  • Over half are overwhelmed by the many information sources they could access and did not know where to find personalised news and reports
  • Around two-thirds of executives already use the internet and mobile technology to receive information

To address these problems the Financial Times and The Carphone Warehouse have created FT Mobile, the new personalised business information service which provides UK executives with their own daily news bulletin, their 'Daily Me'.

The FT Mobile phone package offers a choice of WAP enabled phones and includes personalised SMS text updates on your requested industry and sector, as well as market reports and company news. Users can then telephone a special number to hear the full stories. Users can also personalise the WAP site to prioritise the news and live share quotes they want to hear.

The FT Group has received over 6,000 advance registrations. Financial Times Group Chief Executive Stephen Hill said:

"This is the first of several premium services the FT Group will launch this year. Our aim is to cut through the clutter and focus on what is really important to you as a business person. We have been doing this successfully for more than 100 years in print. Now, using the technology and resources of FT.com and the Financial Times, we can deliver that news direct to your phone. You need never be out of touch."

FT Mobile is being launched in the UK with leading independent mobile communications retailer, The Carphone Warehouse. The Carphone Warehouse is responsible for distribution of the phones through a number of stores and its direct call centre. It will also be providing all after-sales care and customer support.

The Carphone Warehouse Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Dunstone commented:

"Customers are increasingly looking to mobile communications for tailored, content rich information that is of real relevance to their every day life. This partnership with The Financial Times will offer unrivalled financial content ideally suited to the mobile internet and represents the first of many future targeted packages of this kind."

With FT Mobile the Financial Times Group becomes the UK's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) for the international business executive and private investor. FT Mobile can be easily personalised to ensure users receive only the news, reports and share quotes they need. More information on the stories can be gained by accessing the full report through a phone line, or WAP site.

Notes

1. FT Mobile is initially available through two phone packages: the Nokia 6210 at £49.99 and the Motorola Timeport 250 at £29.99

2. FT.com (http://www.ft.com) is the world's leading business information portal, and the internet partner of the Financial Times. It combines agenda-setting editorial content with comment and analysis, relevant financial data, discussion groups, unique dossiers on key business people and a range of tools to search the web, manage a working day and seek out leisure opportunities. FT.com's 2 million unique monthly users generate 40 million monthly page views, delivering a premium audience to advertisers.

3. About The Carphone Warehouse Group PLC The Carphone Warehouse Group PLC is Europe's leading retailer of mobile telephony products and services with 1,078 stores across 15 European markets and over 5000 people. The business was established in 1989 and has grown rapidly during the 1990s under the leadership of Charles Dunstone, the CEO and Chairman, and David Ross, the Chief Operating Officer. From the outset, The Carphone Warehouse aligned itself with the customer offering of "simple, impartial advice" in a retail market where most distributors or service providers are tied to one or a limited number of network operators.

The Carphone Warehouse provides a growing distribution platform for the mobile phone network operators and equipment manufacturers in Europe. The Carphone Warehouse also has a growing telecoms and related services division, which includes Value Telecom, its own mobile virtual network operator. The Carphone Warehouse has also launched an independent mobile Internet portal, Mviva, in which AOL Europe has bought a 15% stake. The Carphone Warehouse has further established a Wireless Internet Services business. In July 2000, the company floated on the London Stock Exchange.

For further information

Financial Times
Joanna Manning-Cooper
Tel: 020 7643 1767
joanna.manning-cooper@ft.com

The Carphone Warehouse
Tristia Clarke
Tel: 020 8896 5573
clarket@cpw.co.uk

Countrywide Porter Novelli
Simon Horne
Tel: 020 7853 2293
simon.horne@cpn.co.uk