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Optus has sought to set itself apart from other telecommunication carriers with the launch of a new 3G service that connects seamlessly to 3G, GSM and WiFi networks.

Optus consumer managing director Allen Lew said the telco is confident the new applications will lead to greater customer take-up and increased mobile revenue. ‘We are confident these applications will deliver simple, and easy to use, mobile services,’ he said.  Optus’ introduction of 3G services follows similar moves by Australia’s other key telecommunication firms — Vodafone Australia, Telstra and Hutchison Telecommunications Ltd.

Aimed at the peak mobile buying period of January and February 2006 the 3G roll-out follows a warning from Optus that it expects earnings to decline slightly in the March fiscal year as revenue growth is pared back in a competitive market.

In the September quarter, Optus added 59,000 net mobile customers to take the total number to 6.9 million, a 2.8 %rise on a year earlier. 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

20c call rate for 10 minutes between their fleet say Optus.

 

As of 1 February 2006, IM will be charged at 95 cents unlimited use per day or $5.95 unlimited for a month.

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 new Optus 3G data features such as Ninemsn Instant

Messenger, video calling, WAP browsing on the new MyZooNow mobile interface and Optus’ 3G content packs.

 

Optus said its new 3G service will include live television from SBS, ABC and CNN, as well as access to 7,500 music titles that can be downloaded directly to a handset.

Vodafone partnered with Optus in November last year to establish a $700 million alliance to develop and operate a national 3G network.

Telstra and Hutchison also aligned for a $450 million network sharing deal.

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