Proximus announces the commercial launch of its 3G services. Proximus 3G service targets business customers first with the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard, Europe's first high speed laptop datacard.
Selected business customers are already using the Proximus 3G network and the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card to evaluate its potential implementation in their companies. Proximus 3G coverage is available in six major cities: Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liege and Namur. It will extend in those cities and include 6 more cities by the end of 2004.
With data rates of up to 384kbps, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard enables Proximus business customers to access all their usual office applications like e-mail, calendar and internet at up to 7 times the speed of a fixed line dial up, and up to 10 times the speed of GPRS.
Designed to meet the needs of individuals, small businesses and large corporate customers alike, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard plugs into a laptop and provides a simple, integrated and secure means of accessing information and data anytime, anywhere, staying always connected while only paying for the information they actually send or receive.
All users benefit from seamless inter-working across Proximus' UMTS and GPRS networks. When entering 3G coverage areas, users will experience significantly higher data speeds. Where users are outside the range of 3G coverage the service automatically switches to the Proximus GPRS network, which covers more than 99% of the Belgian population.
As from 13 May, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard will be available for all customers at 371,07 EUR VAT excl. Proximus data bundles for business customers are available starting from 2 EUR VAT excl. for 1 MB. Proximus also introduces a new 100 MB bundle for 50 EUR VAT excl.
3G roaming will be available from the beginning in Belgium's neighbouring countries, soon after extending across Europe and beyond. Of course, customers will still be able to roam on 2 & 2.5G in with all existing partners.
By investing in UMTS technology, Proximus intends to offer its customers a comprehensive mobile solution to access the information they need, regardless of the technology they use, i.e., GSM, GPRS, UMTS or Wireless LAN. Over the period 2004-2006, Proximus plans to invest between 150 and 200 million EUR in its UMTS network.
Consumer 3G services, such as mobile video telephony e.g., are currently being tested and are expected to be launched by Proximus during 1st half 2005, once it will have reached Proximus' standards of quality and once the market is ready.
3G is one of the key enablers that will help Proximus to meet one of its goals of increasing its Data ARPU (average revenue per user) up to 25% of its Total ARPU in the next five years.
First visible customer benefit of the Proximus Vodafone alliance
The Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard is the first visible customer benefit of the Proximus Vodafone alliance for Proximus customers. Announced last November, the reinforcement of the existing partnership between Proximus and Vodafone will lead the partners to roll out new products and services on the Belgian market as well as increase operational synergies.