Beijing, August 20, 2005 ¨C
NBA¡¯s first China mobile game has made a success. The number of
the game users reached 100,000 when the 2004-2005 NBA Finals were
over, said Mtone Wireless.
Launched in April 2005, the
Fantasy NBA ¡¯05 Pick ¡®N Win game was the first real-time
interactive platform between NBA and its fans in China, which
allowed the Chinese fans to experience the excitement of the NBA by
participating directly through their mobile phones.
The game was developed by
Mtone Wireless Communication Corporation, China¡¯s leading mobile
online interactive entertainment service provider, and was
exclusively distributed by China Mobile.
¡°The launch of the
¡®Fantasy NBA ¡¯05 Pick ¡®N Win¡¯ game,¡± said Victor Wang, CEO
and President of Mtone Wireless, ¡°provides a single platform to
satisfy the passion of our users for the NBA and their thirst for
the latest in wireless entertainment.¡±
The game was a big hit from
the beginning. Since April, thousands of NBA fans in China signed up
for the game from their mobile phones. They selected a champion from
the pool of NBA playoff teams based on their estimation and earned
points for each game their teams won. The high-scoring players won
prizes including NBA basketballs, team jerseys and basketball shoes,
which were sponsored by Reebok and Spalding.
The users also obtained an
access from their mobile phones to a variety of information content
such as team rosters, box scores, game schedules, as well as player
and team updates.
According to Mtone Wireless,
more than 100,000 mobile phone users and NBA fans in China
participated the Fantasy NBA ¡¯05 Pick ¡®N Win game from April to
The NBA offers a similar
fantasy game on its website. Because of the popularity of the NBA
and a high number of mobile phone users in China, however, the NBA
decided to make China as the first and probably the only one market
in the world to leapfrog the PC.
The Ministry of Information
Industry said that China would have more than 400 million mobile
phone users by the end of this year, compared to an estimated 120
million Internet users by year-end.
Meanwhile, the NBA estimates
that there are over 300 million fans in the country. Most of the
fans are high school and college students, who are also the main
market for mobile value-added services in China.
On the launching ceremony on
April 18th, Mark Fischer, managing director of NBA China,
said, ¡°we are delighted to launch this interactive mobile game
just in time for the 2005 NBA Playoffs. The game¡¯s wireless format
allows millions of NBA fans in China to access our first-ever
official fantasy game here via their mobile phones.¡±
Encouraged by the success,
Mtone Wireless and the NBA plan to launch new services to coincide
with the start of the 2005-2006 NBA season. A virtual manager
interactive game targeted at hard-core NBA fans will allow users to
assemble and manage teams based on the real life performance of NBA
players. And a Pick ¡®N Win game targeted at casual NBA fans will
allow users to participate through a question and answer format.
Started in Silicon Valley in
1994, Mtone Wireless Communication Corporation was the pioneer of
China¡¯s SMS and WAP services in late 1990s. Now, the company
provides millions of customers with a portfolio of entertainment
services and specializes in mobile online games, which span across
SMS, WAP, MMS, IVR and K-java platforms.
The company has built a
nationwide distribution channel through partnerships with over 70
provincial mobile carriers and marketing activities in the top 200
cities in China.
The goal of Mtone Wireless
is to reach every mobile phone user in China and become the largest
mobile multi-user game and entertainment provider. It foster
long-term customer loyalty by emphasizing subscription-based
services allowing customers to socialize, communicate, compete, role
play and form relationships with each other in engaging virtual
Mtone provided the early WAP
services to China Mobile in 2000 and created the first virtual
mobile friend in 2002. The company also launched the highly
successful SMS game ¡°Cell Phone¡± in 2003, coinciding the movie
with the same name, which was directed by famous Chinese director,
Last October, Mtone Wireless
launched its self-developed game, ¡°Legend of Three Realms¡±. This
game is the world¡¯s first large-scale mobile online game. It
attracted 150,000 registered users within four months after its
official launch. In April, Mtone Wireless released an updated
¡°Legend of the Three Realms II¡±, which is supported by as many
as 46 different handset models.
value-added service is a fast-growing market. According to
Shanghai-based iResearch, the market size of China¡¯s wireless
value-added service of 2002 was 1.7 billion RMB, and the figure of
2004 jumped to 7.46 billion, a 339 per cent increase in two years.
IResearch estimates that
China¡¯s total market size of wireless value-added service in 2005
will reach 11.07 billion RMB, among which SMS accounts for 4.74
billion RMB, WAP accounts for 1.15 billion RMB, MMS accounts for 1.8
billion RMB, wireless game accounts for 1.2 billion RMB, and IVR
accounts for 2.18 billion RMB.
As the pioneer of China¡¯s
wireless value-added services, Mtone Wireless is strongly confident
in the tremendous potential of the Chinese market and is committed
to provide the most exciting, innovative and interactive content to
mobile phone users.
The cooperation between the
NBA and Mtone Wireless indicates that, as the world¡¯s largest
sports content provider, the NBA is as confident as its Chinese
partner in the future of China¡¯s wireless market.
Victor Wang, CEO and
President of Mtone Wireless, said that mobile phones, as a streaming
media, are currently still restricted by the relatively small size
of information storage and simplistic platform.
However, with the
development of wireless telecom technology, and the upgrade of
mobile phone terminals as well as the telecom network, mobile phones
will eventually become a streaming media that carry enough amount of
information. Wang said, with the unique interactive and wireless
features, mobile phone is gradually becoming the most important new
media in China.
About the NBA
Since its founding in 1946,
the NBA has truly become a global phenomenon that transcends
national boundaries. With 30 teams in the United States and Canada,
NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 214 countries in
43 languages via 157 telecasters.
NBA is one of the largest
suppliers of sports television and Internet programming in the
world. Its official website, www.NBA.com,
with more than half of all visits to the site coming from fans
outside the United States, has nine language-specific international
destinations for fans around the world. The NBA is a recognized
leader in global sports marketing with 13 offices around the world.
About Mtone Wireless Corporation
Mtone Wireless Corporation
is one of China¡¯s leading providers of wireless interactive
entertainment services to mobile phone users in China. It
specializes in providing multiple services including online
multi-user gaming that drive customer to customer interactions
including competition, socialization, communications, role playing
all integrated into virtual environments and games. These
capabilities support music, sports, humor, and other mobile
Founded in Silicon Valley in
1994, Mtone Wireless has been a pioneer in China¡¯s mobile
value-added services market and commercialized the first wireless
stock trading system and mobile information services with China
Telecom in 1998. Mtone Wireless has substantial technical experience
and expertise to manage complex applications now characterizing the
emerging applications. It has developed mobile applications services
using WAP for information browsing, MMS for information
transmission, interactive voice response (IVR) for voice and audio
services and a series of multi-user games for K-java enabled