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Pocket Web from 1&1 - first (affordable) Mobile Flatrate in Germany

Today we received an interesting newsletter from 1&1 Internet AG, a German ISP. 1&1 now offers a Pocket Web Flat for 9.99 EUR per month (powered by Vodafone). There are no time or volume limitations and no additional basic fee, the offer is valid until 30 September 2006.

The service comes with a mobile handset that lacks the ability to make regular phonecalls, except if you are using a bluetooth headset (and pay from 0.29 EUR/Minute) and can therefore be best described as a PDA with phone abilities. However it supports push E-Mail and sports a webbrowser which is “optimized for the mobile internet”. It also has a calendar and a contact manager installed. There are no further information available about the platform or the software, so we will probably have to buy one of these to get more info.

Probably this whole offer is Vodafone’s way to get real-life data about people using the mobile internet and to figure out if they could offer a mobile flatrate within their own data plans. At the moment what you get from Vodafone for 9.95 a month is 30MB and that’s not a lot and quite a difference to a real flatrate or other offers - BASE offers a mobile flatrate for 25.00 EUR / month, but only if you are a BASE customer which makes another 25.00 EUR / month for the voice service (also flat).

So let’s hope the test works well and we’ll see the mobile flatrate available as regular data plans soon.
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