Totally free access pioneer CallNet on Wednesday announced a joint marketing initiative with communications giant Mannesmann to deliver its free service across Europe. The agreement will also provide an integrated telephony billing service for customers, so they pay a single bill for mobile, Internet and voice.
The deal, with Mannesmann's ipulsys subsidiary, gives CallNet access to Mannesmann's extensive European mobile and landline network.
Mannesmann's input will provide CallNet with further e-commerce opportunities across Europe, according to Paul Goodman-Simpson, CEO of CallNet. "There is far more to things than being a free ISP and we'll be involved in the whole spectrum of e-commerce," he says.
The first stage of the partnership will involve the roll out of CallNet's MailTV television based Internet service across Germany, with a Europe-wide roll out of its free fixed line Internet access service to follow.
Despite the deal with one of the biggest players in telecommunications, Mannesmann was recently bought by Vodafone, Goodman-Simpson says there are currently no plans to offer any sort of mobile Internet access. He says that there is "enough to do" in extending the company to Europe but confirms CallNet is "very interested to explore WAP" and similar mobile Internet protocols.