Vesa-Matti "Vesku" Paananen, the Finnish pioneer of the ringtone business, received the special recognition award at the Mobile Entertainment Forum's (MEF) inaugural Mobile Entertainment Awards ceremo

Vesa-Matti "Vesku" Paananen, the Finnish pioneer of the ringtone business, received the special recognition award at the Mobile Entertainment Forum's (MEF) inaugural Mobile Entertainment Awards ceremony in London today.

Paananen, who is currently co-founder and CTO of Helsinki-based mobile-marketing company Add2Phone, developed the ringtone commercial service in 1998. Seeking an alternative sound to the traditional ringing tone on his cell phone, Paananen discovered that Finland's hand-set manufacturer Nokia had incorporated music ringtone-capability in its devices.

He then persuaded Radiolinja, the Finnish telecommunications company, to create the first commercial ringtone service provider.

To supply content for the service, Paananen himself set up Harmonium, which is recognized as the world's first commercial ringtone composer and download company.

The awards gala took place during the MEF's fourth annual gathering, held June 2-3 at London's Business Design Center.