The move will appeal to 3 customers who find that the people they wish to make video calls with are not on the 3 network, the company said. Due to a handset shortage Hutchison had fewer 3G customers than it had hoped for at the end of 2004. Customers will also be able to make video calls to countries where 3 does not yet have a network.
The service, Videotalk to PC, is built on the video gateway system supplied by Ericsson. People receiving the call will need to register their e-mail address with Hutchison, and will need a computer connected directly to the Internet - a firewall will interfere with the call. They will also require Windows 98, XP or 2000.
Users of the NEC 606 and 808 handsets will be able to use the service immediately, while users of the Motorola A920 will require a software upgrade. The calls will be charged at the same rate as normal video calls.