Nokia, Orange Mount Mobile Multimedia Push

Finnish cell phone giant cuts a deal to offer its Ovi platform services to France Telecom's Orange.

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia signed a three-year deal with France Telecom's Orange May 22 to push digital entertainment services in Europe. Under the agreement, Orange will add 10 new Nokia handsets to the Orange line of phones and the two companies plan to offer customers a mix of Nokia and Orange content.

As part of the partnership, Nokia's mobile maps platform and GPS technology will be introduced to Orange customers with Nokia handsets. Nokia and Orange aim to roll out service over nine European countries and create 10 million active mobile map users by 2010.

All services will be integrated into the Orange user interface, providing one-click access to information and entertainment through the Orange Music Store.

"This collaboration underlines Orange's drive to create strategic partnerships that will give customers the best possible mobile multimedia experience in the simplest way," Olaf Swantee, executive vice president of Orange's Personal Communications Services, said in a statement.

Georges Penalver of Orange's Group Strategic Marketing added in the statement, "Orange believes that Nokia's devices and Ovi platform will make a powerful environment for the provision of a joint range of services."

Nokia's executive vice president of devices, Kai Oistamo, said Nokia hopes to extend the deal beyond the initial focus areas of music, games, maps and advertising to include other services over time.

"The combination of Signature and [Nokia's] Ovi services will extend and enrich consumer choice," said Oistamo.