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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 07:03 GMT
Mobile internet 'upgrade' launch
Rory Cellan-Jones
By Rory Cellan-Jones
Business correspondent, BBC News

Man watching TV on his mobile
Consumers have generally been underwhelmed by 3G phones
Mobile firm 3 has agreed a tie-up with top internet firms in a move it claims will make the mobile internet work properly for the first time.

Third generation (3G) mobiles have proved a financial disaster as companies have struggled to interest consumers in using the new technology.

Firms spent billions on technology making it possible to surf the web or watch television through handsets.

But they found customers were only using them for simple phone calls.

Service promise

3, the company which launched Britain's first 3G network, now says it is going to make the mobile internet more interesting.

It is launching a partnership with internet firms including Skype, Google and eBay.

The promise is that users will be able to make free internet phone calls, watch their home television on their phone and tap into their home computers on the move.

The price for all these services will be a flat-rate monthly fee.

Mobile phone companies often make big claims when launching new products - but analysts say 3's move could change the industry.

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