Hutchison has been pounding the PR drum pretty loudly to get the word out that it will finally launch UMTS service in Hong Kong next week, barely making its latest launch date. But today’s South China Morning Post points out that after paying over HK$4000 for a handset (~US$520) early adopters will not be able to use their phones on the Hong Kong train system.
“The new service is now ready for use almost everywhere in Hong Kong, except on the MTR and in its stations. Hutchison is in discussions with the Mass Transit Railway Corporation on the matter.”
For a city which seems to take cellular service as much for granted as oxygen this will likely prove to be a major barrier to selling 3G services to businesses. And it’s not like Hutch hasn’t had time to get the network installed.
SCMP also complained about the quality of video that 3 will attempt to sell.
“At one of the marketing demonstrations, a salesman demonstrated how to download a 4 1/2 -minute video clip from the Cable news channel in a hassle-free fashion. The video and audio quality were acceptable, but a 90-second video clip of a Premier League match between Newcastle and Fulham was difficult to watch. Tracking the ball was almost impossible, despite a picture resolution of almost 2 million pixels.”
But the most fun is this: at the same time that carriers in Britain are cooperating to prevent kids from seeing porn on their mobiles, the SCMP notes that the poor quality of 3’s handsets may also prove an impediment to penetrating a particular market segment.
“The same problem may be a turn-off for users seeking to access Playboy’s database. The organisation is offering Hutchison’s 3G subscribers access to more than 13 million still photographs and 2,000 hours of video. But the models’ faces proved difficult to recognise.”
Faces? Porn’s about faces?