3 boosts 3G coverage

Cuts roaming rates

In a move designed to life uptake of its mobile broadband and 3G mobile services, Hutchison owned 3 Mobile has announced it has boosted 3G coverage and cut the rate of its roaming charges.

The telco claims to have upped access to 3G services in areas covering 96 percent of the Australian population.

Previously, it offered coverage of 57 percent of the Australian population with the remaining 43 percent able to roam onto 2G, but with higher roaming charges.

The company has partnered with Telstra to facilitate the new roaming coverage outside Australian metro zones for broadband and handsets, a 3 Mobile spokesperson said.

Roaming rates have been reduced by more than two thirds through the partnership, cutting prices from $1.65 per megabyte (MB) of downloaded data to $0.50 per MB.

The lower roaming rates are however contingent on customers taking up any postpaid X-Series Mobile Internet Pack or postpaid Mobile Broadband offer from 3.

Noel Hamill, director sales, marketing and product at 3 said uptake of 3G services were being driven by Web 2.0 services such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

“Social networking sites and search engines such as Google are part of everyday life,” he said in a statement. “We have seen the use of [3’s mobile Internet platform] Planet 3 services more than double each year.”

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