Wind rolls out new Veon messaging platform in Italy

Tuesday 8 November 2016 | 08:33 CET | News

Italian operator Wind has begun testing a new free messaging app in Italy as part of a strategy by parent company Vimpelcom to move from selling data and voice calls to offering a single, app-based platform where users can communicate for free. "Fundamentally, we think the industry is at a crossroads. Telcos have an opportunity to really (join) the internet age… and that's where we see our whole strategy going," Vimpelcom CEO Jean-Yves Charlier explained in an interview with Reuters.

The new app, called Veon, is due to be launched across Italy by Christmas as part of the new joint venture between Wind and CK Hutchison's 3 Italia that was formally completed on 07 November. Unlike similar voice, video and text messaging services like WhatsApp or Viber, the app will be zero rated for Italian users, meaning it won’t count against their mobile data bundles. Vimpelcom plans to offer the app to its 200 million-plus customers all over the world by the end of 2017, Charlier said.

The zero-rating offer for Veon users in Italy will initially apply until 31 March 2017 and will be valid for subscribers to the operator’s internet plans. Those who register on Veon by 20 November will also get an extra 1GB of data for free, plus 100 MB free each day they use the app, until the end of March. In addition, Wind is offering customers who link their credit card to Veon a 10 percent discount on their monthly subscription for six months, suggesting the operator may also be planning mobile payment services over the app. Veon app is available now for Android users on Google Play and will launch soon for iOS.

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