3 connects to internet firms


3 connects to internet firms
Third generation (3G) mobile firm 3 has announced a series of deals with high-profile internet companies in order to boost the profile of its own mobile internet services.

3G services have largely failed to take off in Britain as in elsewhere in the world, with consumers cold to hi-tech features such as video calls and mobile television.

But 3 hopes its tie-ups with search engine giant Google, online auction market leader eBay and free internet call pioneer Skype will boost mobile internet's popularity.

For paying a flat-rate monthly free users will be able to benefit from 'free' calls over the internet as well as access their home PC.

Commenting on the individual arrangement between 3 and Google, the mobile firm's managing director of European Telecoms Christian Salbaing said: "We are delighted to announce this global deal between our two companies and to bring one of the world's most popular internet services to our 3G mobile broadband customers.

"Our customers will be able to search with Google whenever they like. It's another key step for 3 in delivering a fully mobile internet. The mobile internet has developed to such a degree that we can now leave the "walled garden" behind and let our customers access and enjoy the very best of what the converged internet and media worlds can offer."

Meanwhile Jim Holden, director of wireless strategy partnership at Google, added: "We want people to be able to find useful information on the internet wherever they are. 3 shares this goal. Mobile search offers people the chance of a rich internet experience on the go. Our agreement takes us a step further to meeting this ambition."

3 launched Britain's first 3G network in 2003 and now has more than four million customers.

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