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Issue #2003 - 08 (March 2003)
(Updated Mar. 10, 2003)


Must be Desperate, 3 Tries Adult Entertainment on 3G

Source: Richard Wray, The Guardian 

The "launch" party for Britain's newest mobile phone network, 3, will be a very mute affair this evening in keeping with the company's low-key roll-out strategy - the public cannot yet buy the phones. Insiders say, however, that the company's soft launch may have a hard core. 

The network will draw attention to what it sees as the big advantage of its 3G technology over the traditional four British networks - the ability to download, view and even send video images. 

The company has already made extensive use in its advertising of its agreement with the FA Premier League, that allows it to provide video highlights of games. 

But 3 has so far been reluctant to talk about other content which insiders say it has also considered making available over its network - pornography. 

Insiders who worked with 3 in the run-up to its soft launch said that the company has streamed hours of pornographic material over its network. One technician who worked with BBC Technology, which 3 has contracted to deal with its video content, said the company has obviously investigated adult services. 

"There was quite a lot of sex and that caused a few eyebrows to be raised at the BBC, with questions about can we really process this?" he said. But a spokesman for 3 refused to comment on whether the company has any designs on making adult services available over its network. He did admit that every mass media market -such as video, publishing and the internet - has tended to attract pornographers. "We are assuming that in the long run 3G will be no different," he said. 

Prospective customers have been able to sign up for 3's service for just over a week. But the company has yet to fulfill any of those orders which may be delayed for several weeks. Its three UK high street stores also recently opened for business, allowing people to see the new technology, which 3 will be retailing through selected branches of Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, Phones4U and The Link. 

But while the last big launch in the British mobile phone industry - Vodafone Live - involved a gala bash, 3 is keeping itself under wraps. 

Source: The Guardian of UK

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: When service providers start allowing adult pornographic images on their networks, it must be desperate indeed. If users send that kind of junk on private conversation, we can understand but when a service provider knows about it and allows that as a service, it is poor business judgement. It does not speak well of 3, if it is true, we say!.

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