Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based company that operates mobile network 3, has today announced a new service to offer unlimited calling, TV watching, and web browser at a fixed-rate tariff.
3 group says that the company is “unleashing the true power of broadband internet over the mobile”, which in this case, looks like it might be true. Via agreements with various mobile content providers, 3 is promising pricing based on current fixed-rate broadband deals.
Called X-Series, the service will allow users to make unlimited Skype calls to other Skype users, for free. Slingbox aficionados will be able to watch programming on their own TV, including Freeview, cable, and satellite TV, as well as whatever is playing on their DVD players or PVRs, all without data charges. Orb, meanwhile, is providing their service that allows you to access files on your PC, including music and photos, via the internet. And for those who prefer IM to SMS, both Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger will be available so that you can send instant messages to other X-Series handsets or a PC or free.
You’ll be able to search and brows the web using Google or Yahoo, as well as track purchases and made bids in realtime on eBay.
So what’s the catch? You can only make use of X-series on one of two handsets: the Nokia N73, and the Sony Ericsson W950i.
The X-Series will be priced like fixed line broadband, to let people use mobile internet services free for a flat fee charged on top of your normal tariff. It will be available from 1 December.
“3 Group just gets it. They are the first mobile media company to give their customers the freedom and choices to use the mobile web the way it was intended to be used”, said Joe Costello, Chairman and co-founder of Orb Networks.