The 3G network brings the world of the Internet to a mobile phone with the addition of enhanced messaging and multimedia functions. Each mobile company offers specially chosen TV, music, multimedia and Internet content, such as news, sport and weather.
Video Talk - With 3G, standard phone features are enhanced with video calls, video message bank, video ring tunes and multimedia messaging. Users can make video calls to other users with a compatible handset and network. It's also possible to leave video messages and add images to contacts so their image appears when they're calling. It is also possible to send video messages to compatible phones as an MMS or e-mail. For example, Hutchison offers videotalk, a video phone call from the handset to a PC with a Web camera using Microsoft NetMeeting over broadband Internet connection.
Internet & E-mail - 3G handsets can send and receive e-mail as well as browse the Internet. The Telstra offering allows users to access BigPond directly to the handset in-box. Hutchison and Vodafone offer e-mail access through a dedicated e-mail address that sends and receives messages directly to the in-box. Hutchison also provides for e-mail forwarding for POP3 accounts from Yahoo!, Hotmail, BigPond and iPrimus.
Multimedia - The enhanced data transfer rates of 3G means that multimedia and gaming has come alive. Handsets can be used to play back music files, movie trailers, live TV and a vast array of multimedia files available through the Internet. Handsets play a variety of music files (MP3, AAC, AAC+) and video formats, including MP4, as well as playing polyphonic ringtones and loading and viewing digital photos online. Games can be downloaded straight to the handset and come with 3D graphics and enhanced sound and some can even be played in multiplayer format in real-time.
Personalised Content - There is also specialised content available on each network, depending on what licence and sharing agreements the mobile carriers have made with content providers, such as publishing, TV or internet providers. For example, Hutchison in the past offered Big Brother content, while Telstra has offered video clips from Australian Idol and the ABC. Vodafone offers financial market information and satellite radar images with the weather. The other content services that are on offer with 3G include interactive communities, group chatting, dating, movie trailers, horoscopes, weather and adult content.