From the press release:
Starting today, Verizon Wireless customers can use their wireless phones to access their pre-existing IM accounts with Yahoo! Messenger to send and receive instant messages. Using their Get It NowÂ®-enabled handsets, IMers can stay in touch with friends and family with the nation’s three most popular instant message applications, even when they are away from their computers.
Verizon Wireless Mobile IM brings the familiar PC IM experience to mobile phones. Developed by Comverse, the full-color user interface lets customers: View, refresh and manage Yahoo! Friends lists Easily create messages using symbols and predictive text Receive instant messages, even if the handset is closed Remain logged in, without incurring airtime charges Hold multiple IM conversations Change availability status Block unwanted messages Get on-screen help
â€œVerizon Wireless is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products and services and we are proud to be the only provider to support all three major IM applications,â€ said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. â€œThe addition of the tremendously popular Yahoo! Messenger service lets our customers extend their Yahoo! experience from their computers to their mobile phones and stay in touch with their friends virtually anywhere.â€
Verizon Wireless’ Mobile IM is initially available on the LG VX6000 camera phone. Customers need an existing IM account with Yahoo! Messenger to use the service. Customers must also download the Mobile IM application â€“ in the Get It Now virtual store under What’s New and then under the getMESSAGING shopping aisle â€“ to their wireless handsets. If customers currently have the Mobile IM application on their wireless phones, they will need to remove the application and download the updated Mobile IM application to access Yahoo! Messenger. To remove an existing application, customers simply select Settings from the Get It Now menu, select Manage Apps, select Mobile IM and click Remove. To download the updated Mobile IM that includes Yahoo! Messenger, customers simply go to the Get It Now virtual store and look in the getMESSAGING shopping aisle for Mobile IM and follow the prompts. To sign up for a Yahoo! Messenger account, customers can visit http://messenger.yahoo.com from their PCs.
Incoming and outgoing instant messages are charged as a TXT Message. Customers can pay as they go for TXT Messaging, which is just $0.02 for each message received and $0.10 for each message sent, or select from bundled plans for $2.99 per month for 100 messages, $4.99 per month for 250 messages and $9.99 per month for 1,000 messages sent or received.
From now through May 9, 2004, customers signing up for a $4.99 monthly access plan can double their messages to 500 TXT Messages through December 31, 2005. Customers who want to select a plan with both TXT and picture messages included can choose both for $7.99 monthly access for 500 TXT messages and 80 Picture Messages, a $2.00 monthly savings through December 31, 2005.
Except for airtime used during the download process, there is no additional charge to download the Mobile IM application. Download charges for Get It Now applications vary and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. Customers need a Get It Now-enabled handset and Verizon Wireless digital service to access the Get It Now virtual store.
Verizon Wireless products and services are available in more than 1,200 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, at participating RadioShack locations and on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. For more information on picture messaging from Verizon Wireless and to view a flash demo of the service, visit www.verizonwireless.com/getitnow.