|StarHub Launches ‘Home Zone’, the World’s First Commercial 3G Femtocell Service|
Singapore’s number-three mobile operator has unveiled a commercial 3G femtocell service following six months of trials involving 200 customers. Supported by Chinese telecoms equipment vendors, Huawei and ZTE, the 3G femtocell technology enables StarHub to connect 3G and 3.5G mobile devices to the operator's core WCDMA/HSDPA mobile network via its fixed broadband network. Working in the same way as Wi-Fi access points, 3G femtocells deliver greater hubbing value for StarHub’s customers with 3G mobile post-paid contracts and a MaxOnline fixed broadband connection. As part of the new service, StarHub customers are offered free unlimited outgoing local voice, video calls and SMS. StarHub has outpaced Japanese mobile operator SoftBank’s plans to be the world’s first operator to commercially launch 3G femtocells in January 2009.
StarHub is making all local outgoing voice, video calls and SMS free for customers using the ‘Home Zone’ service, ensuring that users, who make frequent mobile calls and SMS from home, can enjoy significant cost-savings on their mobile phone bills.
“As the operator that frequently delivers new innovations to the Singapore market, we see tremendous potential in the ‘Home Zone’ service which uses the 3G femtocell technology. While services such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) have been available for some years, these are restricted to VoIP-enabled mobile phones. The beauty of the 3G femtocell technology is that all 3G-enabled phones are supported and customers do not need to purchase special handsets to take advantage of it,” said Mr Anil Nihalani, Head of Mobile and Communications, StarHub.
‘Home Zone’ supports all 3G mobile usage. While all outgoing local voice calls, video calls and SMS are free - MMS, IDD calls, mobile downloads, mobile surfing and other GPRS activities conducted over the mobile device will be charged at standard published rates. StarHub mobile customers on eligible plans can even make Free IDD 018 calls to 18 destinations using the ‘Home Zone’ service. Local call charges will however still apply.
As an added bonus, besides his/her own mobile number, the subscriber can nominate up to three other StarHub mobile numbers to a white-list that will be recognised by the ‘Home Zone’ service. This means that up to four StarHub 3G mobile users can call out simultaneously over a single ‘Home Zone’ connection, each of the callers being able to enjoy the same benefits.
The ‘Home Zone’ VAS is offered at a monthly subscription of $30 (without GST). However, customers who subscribe to the VAS from now till 31 December 2008 can enjoy a special 50% discount for 12 months. The ‘Home Zone’ device will be offered on loan free of charge to ‘Home Zone’ users.
The ‘Home Zone’ service and device is at present limited to the first 200 customers. Interested customers can sign up for the service at -
SITEX Exhibition (See it first at SITEX)
StarHub Shop at Vivocity
StarHub Customer Service Centre at Vivocity
For more information on recommended mobile phones, routers and pre-requisites to signing up for this service, please refer to Appendix A.
For more information on StarHub, visit www.starhub.com.
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