3 Mobile to finally be axed by Vodafone

  • 3 Mobile to merge with Vodafone
  • 3 Mobile customers will be unaffected
  • New customers will go to Vodafone instead

The end is near for 3 Mobile. Two years since the two companies came together, Vodafone has now decided to focus all of its resources and energy on a single brand: Vodafone. From now on, no new customers can sign up to 3 Mobile, or to 3 Mobile Broadband plans.

3 Mobile made its mark in Australia by being the first provider to offer a 3G network for its mobile phone and mobile broadband connections. However, Vodafone do not see this as a valid reason to keep the ‘3’ brand name alive. This is a bit strange, especially since recent times have seen Vodafone’s own public image deteriorate, and many of its customers leaving in droves because of performance problems on the network.

If you are already a 3 customer, Vodafone has told people not to worry, as your plan won’t be changed, and access to services like My 3 and Planet 3 will keep rolling along unaffected by the takeover.

The big change is if you were thinking of becoming a 3 customer, as visitors to its now red coloured website are automatically transferred over to Vodafone’s website if they aren’t a current 3 customer.

Vodafone is rolling out its 850mhz network, which it says will cover up to 95% of all Australians. This should actually make 3 customers happy, as coverage surveys in the past have showed 3 often had the worst network coverage of all the Australian Mobile Wireless broadband providers.

One issue that 3 customers often had to contend with was when they ‘roamed’ outside of their local city. Once the city limits had been passed by, 3’s mobile connections were often emitted from Telstra towers, the result being very high rates being charged to consumers. Now that Vodafone is planning such an extensive new network, this will presumably be a problem of the past.

It has been postulated that the reason Vodafone is making this move is to offer more resources to all of its customers. For example, 3 prepaid customers will now be able to recharge at any Vodafone shop around Australia. The question remains: Could 3 have been kept as a premium service to compete with the large companies like Telstra and Optus, with Vodafone left to battle the discount providers like Virgin Broadband and Dodo? Sadly, we’ll never know.