Mobile technologies: Ufone Futura PTCL EVO innovative phone capable of accessing 3G:
Ufone PTCL Futura 3G EVO Mobile Opens opportunities including giving users access to live television.
One of the country’s major cellular operators has launched a mobile phone capable of accessing 3G internet technology using PTCL’s existing EVDO network, providing users with internet speeds never seen before in the country. So 3G is finally here … kind of.
3G will be specifically available on this dual mode GSM+EVDO phone. The phone – called ‘Uth Futura’ is the first device of its kind, which doesn’t use the normal 3G spectrum, rather relies on PTCL’s existing network, the one used by EVDO USB devices. Hence, voice calls can be made via the Ufone network, and data accessed via the PTCL network, while PTCL’s EVO network is unavailable data services will be run through GPRS.
Standard voice and sms charges apply, depending on the package the user subscribes to. Users can subscribe to two data packages – one is an hourly package which charges Rs25 per hour, while the other is a monthly, limitless package, offering unlimited internet (currently, free of fair use limits) for Rs2,000 per month.
Interestingly, the phone can be used as a modem for a computer as well – by connecting the data cable with the device, and the device to the PC. Unfortunately, WiFi is not supportive on this device. This opens up a new world of opportunities in internet browsing, and the device also gives users access to live television on the go.
Futura has a built in UMobile TV application which will initially offer eight channels, including PTV News, PTV Home, ATV, Express 24/7 and others. The Telco is offering users a 15-day free trial in order to familiarise themselves with the live TV facility. Additionally, on activation of the service, subscribers will be given ten free bonus hours of high speed 3G EVO internet, which can be utilised on the phone, and used while using the phone as a modem with a computer.
Ufone’s CEO Abdul Aziz claimed that the Futura – a reasonably priced mobile phone – will completely revamp the mind-set of internet and tech savvy users, by exposing them to high speed internet facilities at low costs.
(Published in “Express Tribune” on May 27, 2011)