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Orange closes Photo Message leak

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Updated Orange has withdrawn publicity for its forthcoming MMS service - to be called "Photo Messaging" - after prematurely publishing details yesterday. The
pages in question earlier today returned a 404 Not Found. Now they're back, without the pricing information.

According to the publicity material posted yesterday, Orange will launch MMS in August with a tariff of 40p per message. The service will be available through the Nokia 7650 and SonyEricsson T.68i phone (with camera attachment). If you viewed the site yesterday, you can fish it out of your browser cache. Google didn't get there in time.

An Orange spokesman acknowledged that the premature disclosure was a mistake, and that Orange had not yet set pricing for the service. Officially, it's due "by the end of summer", so we expect to see the material restored before too long. [two hours after this story was posted -ed.]

Summer visitors to England can't escape MMS: T-Mobile was first to market with its "Picture Messaging" service in June, promoted by an enormous baby - reminiscent of The Goodies' kitten that ate London.

Debt-laden telcos are banking on picture messaging to drive up the average revenue per user (ARPU), and so are the handset manufacturers. T-Mobile has opted for an all you can eat monthly tariff. The Sony-Ericsson T.68i has been available for a month, and appeared on the Orange network this week. The lovely Nokia 7650, which has an integrated camera, is now in volume production, with upwards of three quarters of a million rolling off the production lines each month. MMS can't afford to fail. ®

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