Guest Shack – Tanya Bowes from ‘3’ re: X series

This week we interview Tanya Bowes from ‘3’ about the launch of the new X series. Learn about X series and the strategy behind the movement. This interview is especially for those who want more for their dollar when browsing on their mobile. Click on the link below to read the interview.

ABOUT GUEST SHACK

Each week we bring you an interview with an interesting and relevant guest speaker on everything from brand new tech or gaming products being launched or a special topic.

Special guest for this week is Tanya Bowes, Director of Communications from ‘3’.

What is X series?
X-Series is a new suite of services that bring the best of the Internet to the mobile phone for a flat monthly fee, bringing fixed line broadband pricing to the mobile. With X-Series people can use their mobile to access services previously reserved for the PC. Customers can make and receive free calls using Skype, access their personal media files such a photos or music stored on their home PC with Orb, and get the best internet and instant messaging services from Yahoo!7, ninemsn, Google and eBay all on their X-Series mobile phone, delivering a unique mobile broadband experience.

What differences are there of the X Series service on a handset to a
Blackberry?

X-Series gives you a unique mobile broadband experience, allowing consumers to access the best of the internet on their mobiles. This includes access to emails, internet, services such as Instant Messenger and Skype. All for a flat monthly fee with generous data allowances.

Which handsets are available on ‘3’ that utilise this service?
X-Series launch include the Nokia N73 and E65, the DoPod D810 and the
LGU830. The services that you want to use will determine which handset
will best suit your needs.

Why use this service rather than a PC or a UMPC?
X-Series is not a replacement for the PC, it’s a way of accessing the internet and services usually associated with the PC (such as Skype and IM), giving consumers the freedom to access these services in a mobile environment, when they can’t get to a PC, with mobile broadband speeds and pricing. In addition customers can use their X-Series mobile as a broadband mobile to connect to the internet with their laptop.

How can a person make Skype phone calls using their handset?
You can access Skype by clicking an icon on your X-series mobile . You
need to have a Skype user name (account)I. f you already have a Skype account, just enter your username and password. You’ll find all your existingcontacts already there. If you’re new to Skype, it’s simple and fast to set up and you register on the mobile. You don’t need to register via the PC!.

You talk about a new charging model, what is the strategy behind this
new service?

The pricing model in Australia reflects the same pricing principles as fixed broadband. It’s a similar model to that of the fixed broadband world and the internet with more of an access fee approach with generous data allowances.

We have included generous data allowances in our X-Series plans and
will be encouraging customers to pick a plan that will suit their usage. Customers will be able to move up or down an X-Series plan if they find they need less or more data allowance.

You talk about choice and products such as Ebay and texting being
‘free’, how so?

Within X-Series, customers have unlimited access to eBay, as well as unlimited access to Instant Messaging (with Yahoo! Messenger and MSN
Messenger) and 3 Email. Texting (SMS) is not included in X-Series, however SMS is included in the Cap services of 3’s voice plans. Customers can combine X-Series with any of 3’s voice Cap plans.

How are you able to access content from your home PC?
With one of the X Series services called Orb, you can securely access your home PC media files with your X Series mobile.

With Orb you can, listen to your own music, see your own photos/pictures, watch your own videos and access files. To use Orb you just need to download the application onto your PC and set up an account. Orb gives you the ability to access your personal media files when out and about, no need to be tied to your PC.

Not all of the handsets run on HSDPA but what of the quality of the 3G
enabled only handsets?

3 has chosen a range of handsets to provide an optimal experience for our customers. Other than data speeds there is no fundamental difference in quality of handsets between normal 3G handsets or HSDPA enabled handsets.

All mobiles from 3 give access to the internet at broadband speeds of up to 384kbps compared to entry level fixed broadband plans starting at 256kbps. With our new network upgrade to HSDPA, we can further enhance some services by giving ultra fast speeds. Eg HSDPA gives customers faster access to content on Planet3 or Mobile Web, higher download & upload speeds when using Mobile Broadband and enhance the performance of Orb. Not all X-Series services require a handset that is HSDPA-enabled
(for example Skype) or will result in a significantly improved customer experience (e.g. when using IM).

Will this service run just as well in remote areas?
X-Series is only available in 3’s Broadband Zones, which are all
metropolitan cities.

What function is there to check how much data a person has used on
their plan?

Customers can use a service called My3, where they can track their
usage and spend directly from Planet 3 on their handset, this is a free
service. My3 is also available through www.three.com.au

What can we expect in subsequent releases of this service?
3 is continuously looking at how to improve its services and offer great value to customers. X-Series will continue to develop services that enable customers to extend their online world to their mobile. 3 wants to make it easy & convenient for them to use the services they love whilst on the go.

Is this monthly service price (silver/gold/platinum) in addition to a
normal monthly call plan?

Yes, the X-Series plans are in addition to voice plans.

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