Optus today launched its 3G services in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane's CBD and Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth airports.
Allen Lew, Managing Director, Optus Consumer said Optus had broken the 3G boundary with product differentiators not seen in the Australian market including two Australian firsts and two world firsts.
"We are the first Australian mobile operator to launch an always - on Instant Messaging (IM) service allowing users to have the same user experience on their mobile as on the PC," Mr Lew said.
"Also launched today is Optus Wireless Connect - the first Australian datacard to offer seamless roaming across GSM, 3G and WiFi networks.
"We will unveil a brand new interface called "MyZooNow" - an active, intuitive portal where information is continually updated and pushed to mobile handsets. MyZooNow gives a level of personalisation not seen before.
"We are the first operator in the world to launch a network infrastructure featuring Nokia's Multi-Operator Radio Access Network (MO-RAN) technology, which allows for the easy sharing of radio services.
"Optus 3G mobile services are simple, easy to use, and all about the customer. We have removed things that customers find frustrating about mobile data technology and evolved content and services to a premium level," Mr Lew said.
Optus will launch its 3G service with four simple capped plans and five great subsidised handsets.
Services include high quality video streaming, new film clips and music which can be downloaded to the handset directly. Making 3G video calls will be simple, allowing customers to video call to any mobile network in Australia and six mobile networks internationally.
"The key driver behind Optus' 3G launch has been the partnership model we have adopted. We have worked hard with first class companies such as ABC, Azure, Bullant, Comverse, Legion, LogicaCMG, MultiMap, Ninemsn, Nokia, Nortel and Soundbuzz to bring the best of the best in technology devices and content to our customers," Mr Lew said.
The Optus difference, MyZooNow
Optus' 3G service features MyZooNow, a unique handset 'homepage' that displays information a customer has specifically requested. Fifteen individual content channels allow customers to personalise across work and play modes.
"MyZooNow challenges the status quo in user interfaces. Too often this requires customers to work complex technology and frustrates them with long download times. By contrast, MyZooNow is an exciting, immediate, broadband-like experience that intuitively delivers consumers relevant content to their fingertips," Mr Lew said.
Users can set up different preferences for work hours and after-work hours which will switch automatically. This means customers can have information such as stock quotes, currency news or breaking news pushed to their mobile while they are working; or LiveTV, music and entertainment in their spare time.
MyZooNow is powered by two new network systems. The first is a content management system (CMS) which actively searches the web for breaking news from Optus' content providers. The system filters the alerts against users' personalised settings and only pushes relevant information to the handset. CMS also provides the new search functionality for both MyZooNow on 3G and Optus Zoo on the GSM network.
The second is a location based services (LBS) server which enables the network and certain content services to identify the location of the customer. LBS powers the FindA service (maps and directions) and can be used to automatically change the MyZooNow mode based on the location of the user.
Exclusive tie-up with Ninemsn for Mobile Instant Messaging (IM)
"Optus will be Australia's first provider of 3G IM through a partnership with Ninemsn. IM is a popular and personalised way of communicating across all age groups and 3G makes it as efficient on the mobile as through the PC with the added benefit of being able to talk to buddies wirelessly," Mr Lew said.
IM will be provided to customers free of charge as a promotional offer to Optus 3G customers and GSM users with compatible handsets.
Optus Wireless Connect
Following the successful launch of 3G to businesses in Canberra in April this year, Optus has evolved the concept of mobile networking with the Optus Wireless Connect service, making it even easier to enjoy a reliable and optimal connection whilst on the move.
Optus Wireless Connect operates seamlessly on 3G, GSM and WiFi so that the customer's device will select the best available Optus access method and automatically connect the user.
Optus Wireless Connect offers corporate and government customers access to their private networks and enterprise applications in a secure environment while on the run, which will improve productivity and efficiency.
Pricing - 3G mobile services
Four new capped plans will be available to consumers:
- $49 cap (minimum spend $49 with an included cap value of $230) per month
- $59 cap (minimum spend $59 with an included cap value of $280) per month
- $79 cap (minimum spend $79 with an included cap value of $500) per month
- $89 cap (minimum spend $89 with an included cap value of $560) per month
If small to medium businesses connect to any of the above plans, they can take advantage of a great offer of 20c calls for 10 minutes between their fleet.
Pricing - Optus Wireless Connect services
Three new plans will be available for small to medium businesses, corporate and government users, and consumers.
- $49 cap (50MB data downloads) per month
- $89 cap (500MB data downloads) per month
- $129 cap (1.5GB data downloads) per month
Optus 3G handsets
Optus will start by offering the following 3G handsets:
- Nokia N70
- Nokia 6680
- Samsung Z500
- Sony Ericsson K600
- Samsung Z140
New handsets will be added to the range continually. Subsidised handsets are available on capped plans.
Optus Content Packs
In addition to the capped plans, a range of content packs are available to customers for $3.95 per month plus browsing charges. These include:
- Music pack
- News & Weather pack
- Lifestyle pack
Until 31 January 2006, Optus 3G customers can take advantage of a special launch promotion. They will not be charged any extra to use exciting new 3G data features such as Ninemsn Instant Messenger, video calling, WAP browsing on the new MyZooNow mobile interface and Optus' 3G content packs.
Note to the Editor:
Optus Wireless Connect, a laptop datacard, is available today. Optus 3G mobile services including MyZooNow and Mobile IM will be offered to consumers in the next two weeks.
On 19 November 2004, Optus and Vodafone were the first mobile operators in Australia to finalise an agreement to build and operate a joint national 3G radio network. The initial build-out of more than 2,000 base stations covering the six major capital cities is scheduled to be completed by March 2007.
Sheila Dhillon or Sarah Turner
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: +61 2 9342 9021 or 9342 8432
¹ From 1 February 2006, IM will be charged at 95 cents unlimited use per day or $5.95 unlimited for a month.