Mobile network provider 3 has announced that its members can now use Windows Live Messenger for free.

Taking stock of the number of messages sent through the MSN service since August, 3 found that over 100 million had been transmitted and received, which shows that there’s a need for such IM services on mobile phones.

Both contract and pay-as-you-go are to get Windows Live Messenger for free, although pay-as-you-go customers will only be eligible for the free service until December 2007, while contract customers will receive it free for life.

“We have been watching with interest at how quickly the super-connected generation has adopted instant messaging on their mobiles”, said 3 UK’s Marketing Director Graeme Oxby. “Our core user group of 16 to 24-year-olds spend a large proportion of time online and happily use a mix of instant messenger, texting and mobile calls depending on what suits them at that particular time.”