MobileWay, InphoMatch Merge

MobileWay, a company that allows customers to purchase ringtones through text messaging, is merging with InphoMatch to form Mobile365.

MobileWay, a company that allows customers to purchase ringtones through text messaging, is merging with InphoMatch to form Mobile365. The Chantilly, Va.-based operation will specialize in billing and settlement of mobile messaging services for wireless carriers Verizon, Cingular/AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile.

MobileWay claims to be the first U.S. firm to work directly with a record company -- it inked a deal with Warner Music Group in July -- to allow purchasing of ringtones via text messaging or short message service (SMS). The process is already popular in such countries as the United Kingdom, Korea and Japan. New York-based wireless research firm Consect estimates that as many as two-thirds of ringtones are purchased via SMS in those countries.

Currently, premium SMS ringtone transactions are available through T-Mobile and Cingular/AT&T Wireless. Mobile365 CEO Neville Street believes the merger will build on InphoMatch's relationship with Verizon Wireless to extend the Premium SMS capacity to another major U.S. carrier.

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