Comment from David Murphy of Mobile Marketing Magazine
I wouldn’t want to be working in one of 3’s stores over the next few weeks. Because if the mobile network operator, or mobile media company as it prefers to style itself, makes a decent fist of promoting its X-Series package, its staff are going to face a stampede of customers looking to sign up.
When we first wrote about X-Series a couple of weeks ago, we criticised 3 for not releasing pricing details. Price, we said, was all-important. At £25 or £30 a month, the service could really fly. Well when you add in a voice tariff, that’s what 3 is asking, for the first 6 months at least.
On the Silver package, which costs £5 a month, the minimum voice and text tariff is £20 for the first six months, £35 thereafter. On the Gold package, which costs £10 a month, it’s £25, rising to £40 after six months. For anyone who likes to go online with their mobile, X-Series looks irresistible.
At the mobilemarketing 2006 conference the other day, several delegates were talking about the lack of pricing transparency for data charges. If you respond to someone’s mobile marketing campaign and download their admittedly gorgeous Java brochure to your handset, chances are it could be costing you £5 or £6 to do so.
Well here’s a package that costs less than that for a month which, within reasonable limits, allows you to download Java brochures till the cows come home, and surf the web and make Skype calls to boot.
Sure, there are only two handsets to choose from initially, (only one, the Nokia at launch) but they look pretty good, with a 3.2 Megapixel camera on the Nokia and a 4GB digital music player on the Sony Ericsson, and there will doubtless be more to come.
3’s move could be the best thing that¹s ever happened to the mobile marketing business. Surely the other operators can’t just sit back and accept it. Currently, only T-Mobile’s web ‘n’ walk package comes anywhere close to what 3 is offering. If the cost of going online on your mobile becomes as affordable, and as transparent, on all networks as it is now on 3, it can only encourage consumers to get involved in mobile marketing campaigns.
As Jonathan Bass, MD of mobile agency Incentivated put it when I called to get a quote: “You want a quote from me? One word: hurrah!”