Hutchison debuts mobile broadband, eyes music service

In a move that should spur more competition among the wireless Internet providers, Hutchison Telecommunications has today unveiled its mobile broadband offering.

The mobile broadband network can be accessed with a notebook using the 3 mobile Internet NetConnect card and data transfer speeds are 384Kbps download and 64Kbps upload in 3’s video zones. The card also supports GPRS for areas outside of 3’s video zones.

Hutchison’s communication devices project manager, Patrick Shallvey, said there is a need for such a service due to the slow data rates provided by GPRS.

“You won’t get much more than 40Kbps with GPRS,” Shallvey said. “With the NetConnect card customers can get broadband Internet speeds without having to look for a Wi-Fi hotspot.”

Shallvey said the 3 mobile Internet NetConnect card was jointly developed by Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless, and although drivers for Windows XP and Windows 2000 come with it, Mac drivers will be considered “subject to demand”.

“The service is very easy to use and comes with a simple GUI for accessing the Internet or SMS,” he said. “Although the 3 network already does data encryption, the NetConnect card is compatible with most corporate VPNs, such as Citrix, for even more security.”

Available now, the mobile Internet NetConnect card is priced at $588 up front with no connection fee or $49 per month, for 12 months, plus a $50 connection fee. In addition to a number of usage plans ranging from $10 to $150 per month there is also a flat rate of 0.4 cents per kilobyte available, according to the company.

When asked how 3’s service compares with other mobile broadband data services such as iBurst, Shallvey said: “iBurst has a service in Sydney that doesn’t cover the whole city so we don’t consider it to be a competitor.”

Shallvey said although the service is positioned as data-only, the company has carried voice and video over IP which “worked fine”.

With Hutchison now operating a mobile broadband data service, the company hinted at offering an online music delivery service as part of its content portfolio.

Hutchison’s general manager of marketing, Peter Burr, said the company has had discussions with “anyone who is a key player in the music space”.

“We’re likely to see music [being offered] in the next few months,” Burr said. “It’s an evolutionary thing.”

Burr did not comment on how such a service would be delivered only to say that the company is looking into managing potential piracy issues.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?