Well, here’s a day I never thought I’d see. It appears that 3, which has always been the mobile network most committed to ensuring that its customers don’t use their phones to surf the web, has finally caved in and gone net crazy.
From mid-September it is to offer a pair of services which will enable user to escape 3’s walled garden of sites and trawl the real web. And get this, even use their handset as a 3G modem to enable their laptop to grab a bit of those 3G speeds.
The basic Mobile Web services, costs £2.50 per month enabling customers with a contract on 3 to download up to 5 MegaBytes of content, or an average of 500 pages each month from the ‘Mobile Web.’
This being 3 though there has to be a bit of a get out clause and this time users can only access pages that have been ‘optimised’ for mobile. So while you should be able to peek at the BBC and Amazon, don’t expect to be able to check out pigbreedersfortonyblair.com just yet.
Gareth Jones, COO of 3, said: ‘We are about offering the best of the web on mobile and ensuring the customer experience. Currently only a fraction of the internet works well on mobile – but the good news is that many of the UK’s most popular sites, including the BBC, eBay and Amazon have now been optimised. We are committed to extending the choice of high-quality video mobile services – this service means the best of internet is now available to our customers over their mobiles.’
Perhaps more exciting is the Wireless Web option, which provides internet access for laptops via the phones at a flat rate of £45 per month. Again there’s a limit of 512MB of data, so no cheeky MP3 or video files.
To be fair I cant see massive take up on either service, but at least 3 has knocked a couple of bricks out of its walled garden.