21 October 2002 -- SchlumbergerSema today announced that it is leading a consortium of mobile operators and businesses in the EC-sponsored initiative "Free G" that aims to promote 2.5G and 3G services.
SchlumbergerSema will provide consulting and systems
integration services to manage the implementation of the mobile-Internet 800 (mi800) technology developed by Mobile Economy
This is the first mobile-Internet equivalent of the fixed-line "0800" free phone calls principle. It will enable consumers to surf web sites free of charge on their mobile phones to book cinema tickets, check flight details, and conduct other online activities.
Of the more than 70 proposals that the European Commission received, it scored the "Free G" project the highest, declaring it "an excellent business case with good technical approach and a positive impact on mobile operators, increasing turnover as a direct result of the increased network usage."
Developed by Mobile Economy, a global provider of platforms for mobile data services, mi800 is the first application of its kind, designed to promote the use of mobile-Internet data services. Supporting a variety of access technologies including CSD, 2.5G, 3G, fixed-line Internet and wireless LAN, as well as pre- or post-paid mobile environments, the mi800service will be launched across Europe in summer 2003.
One of the key obstacles currently hindering the deployment of
mobile-Internet services has been the cost to subscribers. The mi800 solution removes this obstacle by allowing business enterprises to offer subsidised access to mobile-Internet sites to customers in both pre- and post-paid environments. This is expected to drive the use of mobile Internet services to create a new premium revenue source for mobile operators.
In addition to SchlumbergerSema and Mobile Economy, the following mobile operators and businesses from each of the countries selected for trial have signed up to join the consortium: British Airways, O2, Gartner, Filmweb (Norway), Stocknet (Norway), Cellcom (Israel), El Al (Israeli Airlines), The National Bank of Greece, Telestet (Greek Mobile Operator) and AEGA (Municipality of Athens).