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Free UK mobile service runs straight into connectivity problems

Blyk Logo

Free UK mobile phone network - Blyk - has already run into technical problems. A notice on the web site says that it’s having problems with picture messaging (MMS).

The company is forced to admit that it hasn’t got interconnections in place to enable Blyk users to swap picture messages with the other UK mobile networks. So Blyk is suggesting that its users employ email instead.

This is the same network which claimed in July that it was delaying the launch because it had to carry out “rigorous testing of its technical platforms.” Pretty rigorous tests, then.

It’s also somewhat strange since an ability to receive MMS messages is one of the criterion for joining. Another is to be aged between 16-24 years old . The INQ is not quite sure of the legality of such a requirement. Sounds a tad ageist.

For those who can’t unlock their phones, Blyk is offering to sell SIM-free handsets. The cheapest is nearly £80 and the most expensive is £240 for a Sony Ericsson W880i.

Which is a bit strange really because Blyk’s target userbase is impoverished students who will probably just get their existing handset unlocked. Which is another danger.

Because they’ll probably swap back to their existing SIM card after their 42 free minutes and 217 free texts from Blyk have run out rather than pay ten pence for a text and 15 pence per minute to make calls.

Still, everybody will be watching Blyk very carefully to see if its ad sponsored model can actually be made to work.

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