I could hardly believe my eyes today when I read in the press that 3, a mobile network operator in a number of countries, will no longer charge hyper-exorbitant roaming fees for UMTS data usage in their sister networks abroad. Their new offer is called "3 Like Home".
Never quite believing the press I went to the UK home page and verified it myself. Here’s the link. A similar story for 3 in Austria. It’s really true! Unbelievable! Great! Super! Exhilarating! I’ve been waiting for this for years now as I am a frequent traveler. Exorbitant roaming charges for both voice and data have so far prevented me from using the networks as I am used to at home and has made my life more difficult then it could have been.
I would run to 3 with flying colors to sign a contract if they operated a network in Germany and France, two countries I often travel to (aha, so there is a catch…). So for the moment I still have to wait for another operator who is active in these parts of Europe to make an equal move. But there is hope now and light at the end of the tunnel!
3 is transforming at an incredible pace. Not too long ago, 3 in the U.K. was still looking the other way. One of the last operators in Europe firmly evangelizing the walled garden strategy (unfortunately there are still a few others) has made a 180 degrees turn within the past 12 months. After tearing down their walls with their X-Series program, they’ve just recently announced partnerships with Internet companies such as Skype and thus opened the doors for wireless innovation. Other wireless operators have hardly caught up with this move and 3 has once again has leaped a light year ahed.