Hutchison sells 3G extras at flat rate
Hutchison Telecommunications International, which wants subscribers to its third-generation mobile-telephone business to try more non-voice applications, is offering Hong Kong users a flat-rate tariff for unlimited use of a new series of services, according to a company executive.
Hutchison, which competes with three rivals for 3G subscribers in the city, hopes 40 per cent of users of its mobile broadband operations will subscribe to the X-Series services, compared with 10 per cent achieved during a trial period last month.
This would increase data revenue by 10 per cent within 12 months, said Amy Lung, commercial director of Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong.
Subscribers to Hutchison's 3G services pay an average of HK$200 a month, with 20 per cent of that accounting for data services depending on use.
Mobile data services are counted on a per-kilobyte basis, which means that users do not know how much of the network they use at any one time. A flat rate removes that issue and encourages more users to sign up.
The X-Series targets the general public and aims at encouraging subscribers to use functions on their 3G mobile phones normally accessed through their desktop or laptop computers.
The new mobile services include instant messaging, internet browsing and remote access to home computers through ORB software.
Subscribers with a television set-top box using Sling Media technology can watch live television programmes through their 3G mobile phone.
'We do believe that there will be demand for mobile data services in Hong Kong, but the users are feeling frustrated by the complicated charging method for these services,' Ms Lung said.
Some services such as Windows Live Messenger and the 3Xplorer internet browser are being offered at a simple flat-rate tariff of HK$28 a month without limits to usage time or data traffic. A bundled package for all X-Series services including Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo and the home television service is available for HK$138 a month with unlimited data traffic usage.
The services represent a change in business direction for Hutchison as they rely on third-party applications.
'We are now able to open our platform to other service providers and offer more new services to our users,' Ms Lung said.