Feeds

Bebo squeezes Orange in exclusive deal

Friends with benefits

The essential guide to IT transformation

Orange has paid Bebo to provide its customers with an exclusive mobile version of its popular social network - for a while at least.

The move follows a similar tie-up between Vodafone and MySpace, which was announced in February. The French-owned operator told The Reg it had secured fidelity for "a number of months", as it aims to entice the Bebo's 7.15 million UK users to use its cell network. Orange refused to reveal the price it had paid Bebo for temporary loyalty.

With internet on-the-go still in relative infancy, sites like 31 million-strong Bebo have the upper hand over mobile operators, who prize exclusive services in their bid to reduce churn rates. O2 was also rumoured to be wooing Bebo, so it would have had its pick of sugar daddies.

Carriers can expect websites to ditch such deals if mobile browsing does take off, however, when users rebel against being railroaded towards a single operator.

In the UK at least, Bebo is perhaps a bigger prize than MySpace. The site often touts Comscore research which said its users spend longer browsing its network than any other website in the UK, which Orange will hope to rack up some decent data revenues through.

Bebo Mobile will launch in its UK stronghold in summer, timed to go up against Vodafone's MySpace service, which debuts in June. It'll roll out in other Orange territories later in the year. Orange UK plans to go big on Bebo, with a range of tariff packages offering unlimited access. Pricing will be announced nearer the time.

Bebo said its services will not be too hamstrung by going mobile, with all the main features of the website in place. Members will be able to update their profiles via SMS and receive Twitter-esque trivia from friends straight to their text inbox. Orange subscribers will also get access to a Bebo "members-only entertainment club", which we're assured isn't as dodgy as it sounds, instead offering gig and film tickets. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.