Vodafone announces the global launch of Vodafone live! with 3G
Posted on 10-Nov-2004 22:38
Filed under: News
Vodafone is continuing its 3G deployments around the world, this time with the official announcement of its consumer portal Vodafone live! with 3G, and confirming the 3G mobile phone models to be available to the public. Initially 13 countries will have access to the new set of services, including Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The list does not include the operations in Australia and New Zealand.
The announcement follows the release of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G data card and the introduction of initial 3G consumer services across eight European markets.
Launched in October 2002, Vodafone live! was the first mobile service to integrate handsets, networks, content and services to produce an end to end, easy to use customer proposition. Vodafone live! with 3G is the next generation of Vodafone's multi-media consumer offering. The company says that the customer experience is transformed by faster download speeds and improved quality of sound and images, encouraging increasing adoption and usage of Vodafone's services.
Vodafone has also created a new pricing model, where content purchases will be charged on an event basis and browsing will be free or included in a bundle of services.
The Vodafone live! with 3G portal has been improved, with an easier access to services. The portal will offer faster downloads of services and topical content which is updated at least on a daily basis. Promotions will sit at the top of the page to provide customers with the latest offers and most up to date information. An initial number of Vodafone markets will also offer a dynamic portal, which automatically configures customers' favourite content to the top of their home page, meaning they can get to the services they want faster. This function will be deployed across an increasing number of Vodafone markets in due course.
Vodafone live! with 3G delivers new services to customers including video calling, full track music download, 3D games and mobile TV.
Video calling enables Vodafone customers to see and hear one another when making a call. With several handsets in the initial 3G range, Vodafone live! with 3G customers will be able to flip the camera view of the handset to allow the person they are calling to see what they are seeing.
Users can download full track music to their handset and listen to near CD quality full music tracks, rather than small bursts of music through realtones or ring tones. Thousands of full track music downloads have been secured through an extension of Vodafone's existing deal with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, as well as new agreements for music from the catalogues of EMI and Warner Music.
The company also signed an exclusive deal with Twentieth Century Fox, which will bring some made-for-mobile TV and film content. For example, the drama series "24" has inspired the creation of a mobile mini-serie, of twenty-four one minute mobisodes called "24: Conspiracy".
Browsing will be free or included in a highly attractive bundle of services. Content purchases will now be charged on an event basis, rather than according to volume. The result is one simple line on the bill for all content charges relating to each download, enabling customers to easily track their purchases. In all markets Vodafone will be offering promotional packages designed to encourage adoption and trialling of new services.
The new pricing model will also offer customers more value for money for voice services as Vodafone is able to benefit its customers from the additional capacity that 3G brings to its networks. However, each Vodafone operating company will deliver pricing tailored to the local needs of its customers based on these principles.
Vodafone will offer an initial range of 10 new 3G handsets for the Christmas period from Sharp, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, NEC, Nokia and Samsung (pictured below). Seven of the handsets are exclusive to Vodafone. Seven handsets from this range will be available in Japan, with nine available in Europe. Some of the handsets will offer stereo speakers with standard 32MB memory. The Sharp 902 is the first handset with a 2 megapixel digital camera to be available in Europe.