I was lucky enough to be invited by Vodafone to a Rugby match last night here in Wellington, and had a glimpse of the Vodafone live! service in New Zealand.
The new Vodafone live! service was talked about in yesterday's newspapers, but formal announcement is yet to come.
I'm sorry I can not disclose much of the services and content offered, but I was impressed! We played with the new Sharp GX10 mobile using some of the new services, and wow ! I'm going to try and do a complete review of this new service as soon as it comes out.
Enough to say local content providers such as Independent Newspapers (INL) and the Automobile Association are present, taking advantage of revenue-sharing deals.
The Sharp GX10 will cost around NZ$ 1000 (US$ 545) in New Zealand when available. Users of older mobile phone can still use the service, but with restrictions - some multimedia and gaming capabilities will not be there on older phones.
Users can send and receive colour pictures from mobile to mobile or e-mail (competition Telecom's currently only allow from mobile to e-mail), download colour games, check news and other type of contents.
Pricing was split into "one-off events" for which users would pay 20c to 50c, or weekly or monthly subscriptions which typically cost NZ$1 to Nz$2.
Ringtone downloads, games and screen backgrounds vary in price from NZ$3 to NZ$7, but this is charged once only and the user will have the content permanently stored on the mobile.
By the way, the Rugby match was very cool (The Hurricanes [Wellington] won over The Waratahs [Oz]), and thanks to the Vodafone folks for the invitation!