3GSM: Vodafone signs IM deals with Yahoo, Microsoft

Vodafone has signed deals with Yahoo and Microsoft to deliver joint mobile instant messaging services, the mobile operator announced at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.

"We have brought together two of the world's largest messaging communities with a co-branded seamless PC-to-mobile instant messaging service. Vodafone customers will be able to communicate whenever and wherever they want, using IM and its additional service benefits, make the most of their time with mobile and PC, and friends and family," said Frank Rvekamp, global chief marketing officer for Vodafone.

The deal means Yahoo and Microsoft's IM programs - as well as address lists - can be accessed via mobile phones and PCs. Customers will have services co-branded with either IM provider.

"IM is a growing part of the increasingly important mobile messaging market. By bringing our collective customers together, we'll deliver more options about how to stay in touch when messaging." said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president of the Windows Live Developer and Communications Platform group at Microsoft.