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PREVIEW: o2 - de "Homezone" indicator for xda
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 10.08.02 - 01:33:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 14422x
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If you are a German, you will know the former VIAG Interkom Genion Homezone for sure. This was the comic advertising which runs day in day out. If you are not a German, Genion Homezone was the VIAG Interkom lead product and still is the o2 - delead product. It works pretty simple but is fantastic - specially for mobile geeks like me:

Homezone is based on a GSM cellular phone only, no cordless equipment is required or used. While you are on the road, you can make phone call with your mobile phone as every mobile phone, also your are available under the o2 - de mobile number "0179-xxxx xxx". For outbound calls you pay the normal tariff, which is more or less equal to the other mobile tariffs, available from other operators (sorry O2 ;-).
However, if you enter your "Homezone", an area which you can define within the o2 - de covered area, your outgoing mobile phone calls will be billed with a fixed net equal tariff. But not only this, also you get an additional fixed net phone number like for Munich "089-2500 xxxx". This means for everyone who wants to call you, that they can use the cheaper fixed net number instead the mobile phone number. This zoning concept, introduced by VIAG Interkom (or the brains behind that: Gerhard Mayrhofer and Martin Kanis) is unique until today in the GSM world and the reason for the VIAG Interkom's/o2 - de's success in Germany.
With Homezone you are able to make phone calls from Munich to Hamburg for 0,07 € instead of 0,49 € or you can make CSD WAP calls for 0,05 € instead of 0,19 € (which was introduced by me, when I was working for VIAG Interkom ;-).

Anyway, Homezone had one problem when it was introduced: it needs an indication for the user that he is in the Homezone. In the beginning it wasn't easy to convince the handset manufactures to include the Homezone indication into the mobile phones. The Homezone indication is done in the display with the work "home" below the network name and a small cot, anywhere else in the display. This indication gives the user the security that he is in the Homezone now and the cheaper Homezone tariffs are relevant now.
When Microsoft released the Pocket PC Phone Edition, they doesn't includes the Homezone indication because it's not a GSM standard and therefore the Phone Edition devices doesn't includes it today - also not the O2 xda. However, because it is important for the user to know if he is in the Homezone, o2 - de developed it by itself and thanks to them I got it for previewing on my xda.

So if you are in your Homezone with your xda, in future the typical cot will be displayed in the task bar as well as the "home" indication:

At least it indicates the same like the right Sony Ericsson T68i display, it shows you the network name (Interkom has changed its name to o2 - den ow), "home" and the cot.

Cheers ~ Arne

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