The birth of a true mobile Internet?
I would argue that T-Mobile was the first network to revolutionise the mobile Internet with its flat rate ‘web n walk’ packages but 3 looks set to take it quite a few steps further.
Like web n walk, 3’s newly announced ‘X-Series’ features flat rate data access so you won’t per charged per kilobyte as is still so criminally common across the network landscape. Furthermore, the company has partnered with some of the industries biggest players including Skype, Sling, Orb, Yahoo!, Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger, eBay and Google to provide free unlimited access to their services. And yes, I did say Skype.
After all I’m sure many are rubbing their hands at the thought of free instant messaging (you can already do this on w n w) but free VoIP calls has that beaten hands down. It’s Skype without strings too: free Skype to Skype calls (including Skype installed on 3 phones) and Skype’s cheap rates to mobiles and landlines internationally.
Of course Windows based smartphones have always had the capability to install Skype for Mobile but networks have blocked it for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately the crucial part: pricing, has not been released yet but it’s clear you’ll need a new contract (I’m guessing 18 months) and at the moment 3 is limiting the service to either a Nokia N73 or Sony Ericsson W950i handset.
Inevitably we’ll learn more before the service goes live in December, but until then we’ll sit tight. Tight and kind of excited.