:: Electronista | Rogers first in North America with 3G video calls ::


Rogers first in North America with 3G video calls

Monday, April 2nd

Rogers today announced VISION, a service it says is the first cell provider on the continent to offer true video calls. The technology takes advantage of the company’s third-generation HSDPA network to chat with each other in real-time using phones that include a forward-facing camera; the first device on offer will be the Samsung A706, a clamshell phone with both a front VGA camera and a 2-megapixel rear camera as well as a microSD slot for music. Bluetooth and legacy support for EDGE Internet are also part of its hardware design.

Also on offer as part of VISION will be the company’s own music store for buying songs over the air, streaming mobile TV (including highlights of YouTube and Canadian TV stations such as MuchMusic), and Internet streaming from XM Satellite Radio. A basic plan with video calling is $5 Canadian more than a customer’s existing plan and requires the A706, which sells for $100 with a three-year contract or $450 by itself.

The service is currently limited to the greater Toronto area but should expand over the next few months as Rogers builds out its HSDPA network.

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