Mobile giant Vodafone launched its much-awaited 3G service today with a big bang and is promising channel benefits within the year.
While much of the content is aimed at the youth market, such as music downloads and mobile TV, the company is also focusing heavily on business with data cards and live video calls.
To coincide with the launch, Vodafone has halved the cost of data through its Mobile Connect cards with 25MB at $79 and 500MB for $99.
Phil Patel, director business markets, says this gives businesses an alternative to WiFi.
“The coverage includes all CBD and industrial areas and the network will expand as time goes on and with the data rates on offer I expect this to appeal to the small to medium business sector as much as corporates,” he says.
Patel says that while today marks a critical milestone it’s just the start of things to come.
“People underestimate how mainstream 3G is going to become. Now we have the foundation we can start to provide application services and really look at IT wireless productivity.”
And that’s where Vodafone will be looking to the channel to play its part.
Patel says that within the next year his company will be actively targeting resellers and promises huge opportunities in terms of new business and increased margins.
“Potentially resellers can earn more connecting a phone than providing a server.”
Although the first five 3G handsets available are low on memory, Patel is predicting serious increases by the end of the year.