Telecom today launched its 3G Mobile Broadband network and is expecting strong demand from businesses and consumers.
"The network upgrade will underpin a raft of next generation mobile services Telecom is calling 'T3G' and will ensure New Zealanders are right at the forefront of the global innovations in mobile communications," said Kevin Kenrick, General Manager for Mobile at Telecom.
The first new T3G service is called Mobile Broadband. It enables Telecom customers who are away from their offices to send and receive email, download business information, organise appointments and access the internet via laptops and handheld devices at unprecedented high speeds.
The new Mobile Broadband network will download data up to 15 times faster than the existing 027 network -- which is already the fastest mobile data network in New Zealand -- and up to six times faster than UMTS based services expected to be offered by Telecom's competitors some time next year.
Telecom's Mobile Broadband service already covers the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch regions, and before Christmas will cover key holiday and business destinations including Taupo, Coromandel, Queenstown and Wanaka. Beyond these areas customers will seamlessly switch to Telecom's nationwide 027 network.
Telecom has invested about $NZ40 million on its Mobile Broadband network which is based on the super-fast EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimised) technology delivered in partnership with Lucent Technologies, who provide design, software and management for Telecom's 027 network.
A range of new subscription based pricing plans of 100, 200 and 500 megabytes per month provide significant cost reductions in mobile data usage and cost certainty for users.
Furthermore, all of the new pricing plans include usage of Telecom's wireless hotspot network. Telecom has currently deployed 70 wireless hot spots at hotels, airports and business convention centres across the country and this will expand to 200 by the end of 2004.
Special migration deals will be offered to existing Mobile JetStream data customers with recommended pricing plans tailored to suit their needs and usage levels.
New Zealand's first T3G data card and PDA unveiled
Telecom has introduced the T3G Data Card for laptop PCs and the Harrier -- a handheld mobile device that combines a PC and mobile phone into one, as part of the Mobile Broadband launch offering.
With Mobile Broadband speed and the T3G data card Telecom customers will now be able to transform their laptops into the true 'mobile office' of the future. The T3G data card replaces the current Mobile Jetstream Gtrans card and Telecom will be contacting existing mobile data customers with special trade up offers.
In addition to being a phone, the Harrier PDA (personal digital assistant) comes with a high resolution display screen, a full slide out keyboard and an inbuilt camera with flash. It is Windows Pocket PC compatible and can be easily synchronised with businesses' networks.
Upgraded Mobile Email service unveiled
As the line between desktop and handheld devices blur, Telecom is also unveiling Mobile Email+, a service that synchronises emails between the user's desktop PC and mobile device or PDA.
Mobile Email+ is priced on a per user basis and is designed to work with our handheld mobile devices including the new Harrier PDA.
A raft of new T3G services is on the way
Over the next 100 days, Telecom will continue to launch a range of new T3G services that will enable New Zealanders to take full advantage of the upgraded 027 mobile network.
Video Messaging will be available within the next few weeks. This will enable customers to record, view, store and send short duration video clips to other T3G video capable phones and to email addresses anywhere around the world.
Push 2 Talk customer trials will also begin this side of Christmas. Push 2 Talk is a simple as it sounds -- at the touch of a button on your Push 2 Talk mobile you'll be able to talk to one or a group of Push 2 Talk users and they can talk to you and others within the group. It's like a mobile phone and walkie talkie all rolled into one.
Video Streaming will be close behind. With the broadband speed of Telecom's 3G mobile network New Zealanders will be able to download video clips from films, music, sports or information services right into the palm of their hands.