Mobile phone heavyweight Vodafone Airtouch, French media conglomerate Vivendi and broadcaster Canal+ have announced a multi-access portal which will enable consumers to browse and shop through their PCs, interactive TVs and Wap phones.
The portal, dubbed Vizzavi (as in vis-a-vis), is expected to launch with more than 200 services, including email, address book and calendar, together with sport, games and information channels, when it goes live in July in the UK.
The personalised portal will eventually include voice recognition "enabling consumers to get their email read to them and also providing a neat way of directing traffic around the channels", explained a spokesperson for the portal.
Vizzavi will also have a video conferencing facility and the ability to send video messages as soon as third generation mobile WAP phones become available. Vizzavi will launch in France in the next couple of weeks and in Italy by the end of the year.
Since its merger with Mannesmann, Vodafone has had a strong presence in the UK, Germany and Italy. Vivendi and Canal+ dominate in a number of markets including France, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium.
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