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UK Operator 3 Finds Mobile Broadband Mojo

TelecomTV reports that UK mobile operator '3' unveiled its X-Series broadband Internet service, which will be available across all of its national networks. The service was launched in partnership with Skype, Sling Media, Yahoo!, Nokia, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Orb and Sony Ericsson.

3 says it will extend several of the core applications and uses of the broadband internet to the mobile handset, with a new pricing model. In a bold move, 3 has attempted what no other service provider has done thus far -- create the environment where consumers can freely use a broad suite of multimedia services and discover their preferred applications, all without worrying about the cost.

Amongst the functions are the ability of customers to be able to make unlimited calls from their mobile using Skype, watch their home television via their mobile using Sling, access their home PC remotely using Orb and have access to the Internet and messaging services from Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger and Google.

The X-Series will offer mobile internet services free at the time of use, for a flat monthly fee. It will be available in the UK from the 1st December and in 3's other markets around the world in early 2007.

"This is the internet as it was meant to be and what people have been waiting for," said Canning Fok, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of 3. "Mobile broadband is the natural next step for mobile services, extending the full power of the internet to mobile handsets. By partnering with the leaders of the internet and the leading handset makers, the X-Series from 3 will give everyone access to more of what they want, when they want it, and however much of it they want, all free when they use it."

The X-Series will launch with two handsets that 3 says will support this full range of services -- the Nokia N73 and the Sony Ericsson W950i. Frankly, I commend the brave folks at 3 for daring to move beyond the typical provider 'walled-garden' me-too mindset, and enable a more open model where consumers can discover the full potential of their subscribed mobile broadband services.

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