Start surfing — Opera Mini gets Fly customers online

Fly customers can now enjoy fast and easy access to the full Web with Opera Mini, the world’s most popular mobile Web browser

Oslo, Norway and New Delhi, India – May 22, 2008

Meridian Mobile, a major player in the telecom (mobile handset) industry with its flagship brand ‘Fly”, and Opera Software today announced a partnership to include the Opera Mini mobile Web browser on all of Java-enabled handsets by Meridian Mobile in India. Already available in the market are Fly MC100, Fly LX610, Fly LX500, Fly B700, Fly MC100, Fly E130, Fly B600 and the Fly SX240 handsets.

According to a recent study by Bango, there has been a rapid increase in the number of mobile surfers in India with over 9% of all access to mobile Web sites coming from India. This is a 4% increase from the previous year. India, with a population of just over 1 billion and a lack of an established fixed phone line network, today has more users surfing the Internet with a mobile than with a PC. Based on latest data by telecom regulator TRAI, total Internet connections (whether dial-up or broadband) in India accounted for 9.22 million while 38 million users were connected to the Web through mobile phones. As such, the avid Internet surfer requires fast and simple access to all their favourite Web sites anywhere, any time.

“Opera Mini will revolutionize the way our customers use the Internet,” said Mr. Rajiv Khanna, CEO, Meridian Mobile. “Fly is known for its style, speed, and performance. Opera Mini, with its popularity and experience, bundled with lightning-fast download speed, is a perfect match to bring the best Internet experience to our customers in India.”

Brand ambassadors for Fly, young and vibrant cricketer Ishant Sharma and popular bollywood actress Malaika Arora, have already started using Opera Mini on their handsets. “Browsing the Web is so simple and fun,” says Ishant Sharma. “I get the latest sports news, movie times, Bollywood information, access to my e-mail – all on the go.”

Opera Mini, with a user base of over 44 million worldwide, will enable Fly customers to enjoy the full Web experience on their handsets. Customers can stay in touch with friends on Facebook, Twitter, get e-mail on the go and do online banking. There are no limits – Opera Mini is the quick, easy and secure way to get any Web page, any time. Accessing the Web will not only be easier but faster as well. Opera Mini utilizes Opera’s compression technology to pre-process and compress Web pages by up to 90% before sending them to mobile phones, keeping download costs under control.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with a leader such as Meridian Mobile,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Together, Meridian Mobile and Opera will get millions of Indian mobile phone users online and empower them with a mobile Web experience that is fast, rich and innovative.”

Opera Mini is already available on Fly handsets in other countries where the brand is present, including Eastern European markets, where Fly handsets, powered by Opera Mini, have already enjoyed great success.

Meridian India

Meridian Mobile Pvt. Ltd. came into the country on October 2004 and the brand Fly was launched in India in June2005. With extensive experience in representing brands like Benq, Philips and LG, the company already had a pan India distribution in place. The company has 5 Regional Offices and a Head Office based in New Delhi. The company has a head count of over 1800 (including contract employees) and is entrenched in over 4000 top mobile shops in 145 cities.

About Meridian Mobile

Meridian Mobile, a part of the UK based Meridian Group, which pioneered the FMCG distribution in many parts of Europe launched ‘Fly” about four years ago in East and Central Europe and has since emerged as a strong player in that market. Meridian Mobile has made quick inroads into the modern trade in less than a year and it is one of the fastest growing mobile phone brands in the world. Meridian Mobile has established a strong position in critical markets including Russia, India and the UK.