Guardian Unlimited (www.guardian.
co.uk), the web arm of The Guardian newspaper, has launched a range of services to mobile phone users. The new paid-for SMS alerts will initially allow subscribers to Orange, Cellnet and Vodafone networks to get updates on news, media, football and politics.
Users will be charged a maximum of 25p per alert sent to their phone. Plans are also in place to offer the service to One2One subscribers at a later date. "Like our increasingly popular e-mail briefings, our SMS content is not automated but written by our own site editors, providing users with unique and reliable information you would expect from The Guardian," said Guardian Unlimited channels manager Mark Headley. It is good
to see Guardian Unlimited make this bold move and try to raise the
standard in SMS news services where others tend to just replicate what is already there with their online sites. The Mirror is also branching out into SMS by teaming up with high street mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse. It is offering subscribers 30 days of news, showbiz and information on their favourite football team for a fixed price of £5.99. Instant Mirror comes via the paper’s newsdesk, providing updates as soon as they happen.
The Royal Insight website (www.royalinsight.gov.uk), which provided a monthly look at what goes on in the Royal Family, has closed down. The site was launched in 1999 by the Duke of York. In its first year of operation, editor David Tuck said the site generated 1.6 million page impressions. The idea of the Insight site was to be features-led with a heavy emphasis on photographs. Certain elements of Insight are to be incorporated into the main official website (www.royal.gov.uk) and its archive of material will remain online.
Pogo, a personal digital assistant (PDA) that allows you to access the web, e-mail and also make phone calls has finally launched. The device, which will initially be sold through Carphone Warehouse, costs £299 and is connected to the firm’s Fresh network (which is run via One2One). After the retreat last year of Omnisky, which made it easy to access e-mail, it’s good to see someone else try to offer an all-in-one unit that can make it easy for people to access information on the move and more importantly view it on a screen they can read.
Veteran internet provider Pipex (www.pipex.com) has just launched an "always on" internet access package for £24.95 plus VAT a month. Pipex is offering users at home a high-speed broadband connection. The only additional charge is £99.95 plus VAT for an ADSL modem to connect to a PC.