Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Australian wireless network provider 3 has announced free Skype calls

Australian wireless network provider 3 has announced free Skype calls, fixed line-like pricing for wireless data and a partnership with iiNet as part of its X-Series suite of services.

Customers of Hutchison's 3 network can make and receive free calls using Skype, plus use their phone to access their personal media files such as photos or music stored on their home PC using Orb. Also included in the X-Series suite of services is MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, with customers able to send and receive unlimited instant messages.

An example of the X-Series service is that for $30 a month customers get 1 GB of data to use surfing the internet and accessing their photos or music stored on their home PC. They can also plug their mobile to a laptop and using it as a modem. That $30 also includes free Skype to Skype calls including to other Skype 3 mobile customers. It also includes unlimited access to Planet 3 content including News, Sports and Weather.

The X-Series suite of services is already available in markets across the world including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Hong Kong.
3 also today announced an alliance with fixed broadband provider iiNet to offer X-Series customers a discounted home broadband service (available from 6 April), which will allow them to experience the Orb service on their mobile.

3 has completed its network upgrade to HSDPA across its 3G network, which means that customers with HSDPA mobiles or data cards can expect typical download speeds ranging from 600 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps, with a theoretical maximum download speed of up to 3.6 Mbps. X-Series customers can choose an X-Series mobile which is also HSDPA ready.

The X-Series suite of services are initially available with the N73 and E65 from Nokia and two HSDPA-enabled mobiles - the DoPod 810 and the LGU830. Further mobiles will be announced shortly. Pricing ranges from $20 per month for a 500 MB download allowance and a 1000 minutes of Skype calls to $40 for 2 GB per month and 4000 minutes of Skype calls.

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