Microsoft and mobile operator 3 today announced plans offer customers the chance to access MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail, through the 3 portal and installed software clients on 3G handsets.

The move means 3 customers will be able to stay in-touch on the move using just their phone. By connecting MSN and 3 customers, both companies expect more frequent interaction between mobile-to-mobile, and PC-to-mobile customers.

In addition, the 3 will allow access to MSN Hotmail through the 3 portal's wall garden, allowing 3's customers to use their existing MSN username and password on their 3 mobile.

The MSN Hotmail experience on a 3 mobile will enable customers to perform their normal e-mail functions such as read, send and delete emails as well as get an "at a glance" inbox view.

Later this year, 3 will also be able to offer access to Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail, two of the exciting next generation software services from Microsoft that puts the user in control and connects them to the people and information that matter most.