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AOL Launches Portal In India

WEBWIRE Offers Free E-Mail With Unlimited Storage, Instant Messaging, Mobile Services, Local Content Including News, Cricket, Bollywood, CityGuide.

Launch Underscores AOL’s Ambitious Global Expansion Plans, Leverages Unified Global Product Platform to Deliver New Services in International Markets.

BANGALORE, INDIA – AOL today announced the launch of, a new portal in India offering free e-mail, instant messaging, and mobile services, in addition to robust local news and information for the Indian market. offers e-mail with unlimited storage, leading safety and spam protections, and mobile access, as well as other mobile services, such as messaging and downloads.

“India is one of the world’s fastest-growing online markets, and our India portal will help us compete for users and advertisers in this important region,” said Ron Grant, President and COO of AOL, who launched the service at a press conference in Bangalore. “AOL is one of just four companies with the scale, the network infrastructure, the resources, and the products to compete on a global level, and we plan to fully utilize those advantages as we enter new markets.”

According to a Kaufman Brothers report released in September 2006, India had roughly 45 million Internet users (out of a population of 1.1 billion) at the end of 2006. The report projected that India’s Internet population would double to 94 million by 2008 and triple to 147 million by 2010.

In addition to communications tools and services, also gives users a wide range of content designed specifically for India, including robust video and special channels dedicated to Bollywood, CityGuide, Cricket, Education, Hollywood, News, Sports, International Music and a Gurus channel with video advice from local and international experts.

Among the features of the new portal are:

* AOL’s easy-to-use e-mail service with unlimited storage, industry-leading spam blocking, and powerful security protections against viruses.
* AOL’s leading instant messaging featuring offline messages, picture sharing, personalization, grouped messaging, and simultaneous multiple IDs.
* A full mobile communications and infotainment suite that offers mobile access to e-mail via WAP, instant messaging via SMS, and downloads like wallpaper, ringtones, and games.
* A powerful Web search product, powered by Google, that helps users find the local or international information they need.
* Video content in many channels providing a superior broadband experience.
* News and entertainment channels including Bollywood, CityGuide, Cricket, Education, Gurus, Hollywood, International Music, News and Sports.

“By leveraging a unified product platform, we can accelerate our timetable and reduce the cost of launching and supporting portals in new markets,” said Maneesh Dhir, AOL’s Executive Vice President, International. “ shows how we can quickly move into an important market like India with a strong, local offering that meets the needs of its online users.”

AOL has more than five years’ history working and building new services in India. The Company’s Bangalore Service Centre opened in 2002. In 2004, a Software Development Centre was established to help develop applications and products for AOL. In 2005, the company’s Knowledge Centre was launched, devoted to business analysis, search operations, and technology support.

In an effort to establish a global unified user experience that brings, front and center, the features and content that Web users access most often, AOL also unveiled today a beta of the new portal in the United States and launched the new portal in Canada. The new portal, in limited beta, has been completely redesigned and will feature improved navigation with relevant, local information (such as traffic and gas prices), video content, email and search brought further to the forefront of the page, and gives users more flexibility to personalize the page and make it their own. The new portal, which features Canadian-centric programming and content also sports a redesigned interface with improved navigation.


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