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Issue of December 2006 

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Hutchison Essar and Microsoft in JV

Hutchison Essar and Microsoft have announced a broad-scale mobile services alliance in India. They have agreed in principle to work together to provide mobile search and various other Windows Live services to Hutch’s subscriber base which currently numbers more than 21 million.

Once things are in place, Hutch customers in India will be able to search for and access mobile content and information. The service is expected to act as a one-stop search powered by Windows Live Search for mobile users. Other services include news, sports and entertainment, to name a few. In addition, Hutch users will be able to search for local business listings and services in major Indian cities.

In the current partnership between Microsoft and Hutch, Microsoft powers Hutch’s mobile portal ‘PlanetHutch.’ It will now build and manage Hutch’s Fun Cards platform (pre-paid card for downloading value-added services for its customers). Microsoft and Hutch will be extending this alliance to allow advertisers and content partners to reach mobile customers through the broad availability of paid search in the Indian mobile market.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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