After 3 and Vodafone Orange is to become the third British mobile phone network to launch a 3G offering for consumers. It will debut four new phones next week with two models set to arrive early next year.
To be fair there isn’t a huge amount to choose between what Orange is offering and the services already delivered by 3 and Vodafone. Unlike 3 and Vodafone Orange is, however, offering full web browsing via both the handsets and laptops (with the phone functioning as a modem) as part of its tariffs. Subscribers pay £30, £50 or £70 a month for which they can download up to 50MB data. This includes web browsing as well as email and film and news videos from the Orange World site. The pricier tariffs include more voice call minutes. Football videos also cost extra.
We have written about some of the phones before, most notably the Sanyo S750, which will be the service’s signature phone and is available free no matter which tariff punters choose. Other handsets include Samsung’s Z107, a fairly small clamshell which features a large protruding battery; Sony’s Ericsson’s Z1010, which has been available to networks for the best part of two years now; and the LG U8150, which is pretty much the same phone as the LG U8120 as offered by 3. Nokia’s excellent 3G smartphone, the 6630, and Motorola’s C975 will follow shortly.
Subscribers can make video calls – to any 3G network – and watch downloads of sports and movie clips. Orange has also confirmed that it will unveil a 3G version of its SPV smartphone in the spring.