Archive for March, 2003

Hutchison 3

Friday, March 21st, 2003

Hutchison 3 was Australia’s first Wideband CDMA (WCDMA) operator, launching its 3G services in Sydney and Melbourne in 2003. Since then it has been focusing on developing 3G content to offer service differentiation against competitors.

3’s 3G services deliver integrated voice, data, video, text and audio including:

  • email products such as Email on 3 (SEVEN client) and Nokia Email with unlimited usage offerings within packs;
  • live and streamed mobile TV services (Channel 9’s broadcast of the cricket, SBS, CNN, ABC Kids, Sky Racing, Cartoon Network, Rage, E! Entertainment, MTV);
  • mobile Internet and mobile data;
  • news and sports (video news reports and text stories);
  • music on your mobile from the 3 music store, including full length audio, video downloads, tones, call me tones and TV;
  • interactive multi-player games;
  • other entertainment and information services including,, eBay, transport guides, RSVP, eat and drink guides, movie and TV guides;
  • social networking products;
  • video calling – in Australia and internationally with overseas 3 networks;
  • dualmode – enabling national and international 2G telephony, SMS. MMS and email;
  • short video clip messaging to other 3 handsets and email addresses;
  • area-specific information and guides;
  • videotalk to PC – allows customers to call any webcam and email-enabled PC, and see the person with whom they are talking.

3 Mobile TV featuring such programs as live cricket of the Test Series and One Day Internationals from Channel Nine, along with South Park, have proved to be quite popular.

In early 2007 Hutchison launched the X-Series, a new Internet applications suite, handset range and pricing structure. 3’s mobile phones can be used as modems and thus also provide Internet access to PCs and laptops via Hutchison’s upgraded HSDPA network.

VHA offers a suite of mobile Internet services across both the 3 and Vodafone brands, including Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, eBay, Google, and access to a plethora of email account brands via aggregated email applications such as Email on 3 and Nokia Messaging.

3 continues to support a Skype application which is available to download for free from their Planet 3 portal on over 70 handsets. 3’s Skype application allows customers to make Skype-to-Skype calls and Chat (IM) and is an unlimited inclusion in all Mobile Internet and Talk International packs.



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Friday, March 7th, 2003

It is mainly the smaller players that operate in the Internet space and are gradually expanding.

Lack of investments was the major problem in the mid 1990s. There is now however, real awareness amongst a new breed of investors that a start-up is a far better and quicker way of moving in the multimedia environment than undertaking the hard task of change within an existing (media) organisation. This second generation of technology investors (many of whom sold internet companies and are now investing) has meant a dramatic change in the venture capital investment scene. This has been further assisted with changes to Capital Gains Tax (eg scrip for scrip rollover relief). However, the dotcom crash had a severe impact on this market as 40% of the dotcoms went under. However, 60% survived, while they will have a tough time in these turbulent times they have a more than average change to not only survive but thrive in the new broadband market.

Going to market (IPO) are now quite common. Venture Capital companies are indicating that the issue now no longer is the money nor the business plans, it is getting the right people to make it all happen!

Key industry issues of the 00s now include privacy policies and disability discrimination (can blind people access your site? – they are 20% of the market in the US).

See also:
Australia – Multimedia Market;
Australia – Industry – Investment & Financial Strategies.

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Friday, March 7th, 2003

Since the 1980s, utility companies have been contemplating their possible participation in the telecommunications and cable TV industry. There are compelling reasons for them to do so as they will be able to make considerable savings and, at the same time, tap into new revenue streams. Cable TV operators are already describing the energy management services as the possible killer application that will make it commercially viable to start delivering interactive services to their subscribers.

In Australia, several energy companies are involved in infrastructure developments. However, like all other superhighway projects, ‘real’ home services (known as Demand Side Management – DSM services) is also still several years away. We expect this market to hot up between 2003-2005.

This doesn’t mean that DSM as a concept will have to wait all that time. In 1995, the Australian energy market was deregulated. It will not take long for entrepreneurs to enter the market and to attract the utilities with innovative products and services that will take the cream off some of the recovery of their most profitable markets. This trend will be very similar to what is happening in the telecommunication market at the moment. Some 100 service providers, resellers and callback operators are causing Telstra and Optus some severe headaches.

See also:
Australia – Broadband – Content;
Home Networking.

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Friday, March 7th, 2003

The cable TV network can of course also be used as a multi access services network. Optus was the first company in the world to commercially deploy a large (national) scale cable telephony service. However, it took the company three years to develop a commercial viable service. Good progress has been made since. By 2002, over 550,000 subscribers were connected to the network. Furthermore, other high-speed Internet services are rolled out since 2000. (See separate company profile: Optus – The network.)

Strategies for cable telephony have been successfully implemented in the UK (see information in United Kingdom – Voice, Data and Internet Services). An attractive proposition is to have a second telephone connected to the cable TV network and use that for outgoing calls, faxes, Internet access, etc. This still leaves the first telephone connected to BT, regarded as a safety measure as long as the cable telephony market is still under development.

The market received a boost in March 1999, with the adoption of the international cable modem standard DOCSIS. The service from Optus is based on this standard. Telstra upgraded its network to this standard during 2000/2001.

For more information, see:
Australia – Broadband – Content;
Australia – Broadband – Cable Modems and Cable Telephony.

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Saturday, March 1st, 2003

Open access Internet in Victoria’s public libraries is a key factor in overcoming the digital divide, according to a research report by Monash University’s Centre for Community Networking Research (CCNR).

The research, which drew responses from over 2400 public access Internet users from more than 80 library service points across the state, found that overwhelmingly users have no other source of Internet access. It found that many of the users were retired, unemployed or students and the primary motivation for using the service was the low cost.

Over 50 percent of those responding to the survey had only begun using the service in the last 12 months and more than 50 percent of all respondents indicated that they expected their usage to continue for the foreseeable future: This means that it may become more difficult than it currently is to get access to the Internet through your local library.

Just as public libraries themselves served a variety of uses, public Internet access provided a wide range of helpful knowledge – on careers, jobs, education, personal communication, social interaction, recreation and creativity.

However the survey did identify dissatisfaction amongst many users with the quality and availability of public access at some locations. Many users found the amount of time they could book to use a workstation was insufficient for their needs.

This obviously is a funding issue. The costs of providing the bandwidth and upgrading and maintaining the existing stock of workstations continues to rise, while public libraries budgets are relatively static.

The research indicated that the role of public access continued to be critical in building an equitable information society.

See also:
Australia – Broadbanding Local Communities
Australia – Broadbanding Regional Australia
Australia – Internet Infrastructure
Australia – Internet Market – Residential Market

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