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SUPPORT: o2 Germany is supporting Homezone indication with the Motorola MPx220
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 13.09.04 - 21:48:28 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 12628x
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Good news for Germany's o2 customers! Today I had the chance to play a little bit with o2's Motorola MPx220 and no wonder at all - but worth to post: it's supporting o2's Home- and Cityzone indication! Finally! :-)

If you are not living in Germany you might not know the concept behind Homezone and Cityzone:

Homezone is based on a standard GSM cellular phone only, no cordless equipment is required or used. While you are on the road, you can make phone calls with your mobile phone as with every mobile phone, also you are available under the o2 mobile number. Outbound calls are charged with the normal tariff, which is, more or less equal, too the other mobile tariffs, available from other operators.
However, if you enter your "Homezone", an area which you can define within the o2 coverage and which is att least 500 square meters, your outgoing mobile phone calls will be charged with a fixed net equal tariff. But it's even more: in addition you get a 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 (the previous name of o2 Germany) is unique in the GSM world until today and one of the reasons for the o2 success in Germany.
With Homezone you are able to make phone calls from Munich to Hamburg for 0,07 € instead of 0,49 €.

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 word "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 for him.
When Microsoft released the Pocket PC Phone Edition first and later the Smartphone, they doesn't included the Homezone indication because it's not a GSM standard and therefore the Phone Edition and Smartphone devices doesn't includes it today by default, except if you buy it from o2 Germany.

While home and city (the second part of the Homezone concept) is indicated on o2 Xdas for a long time, so far o2 hadn't had a Smartphone in its portfolio - until the announcement last week.

Because all o2 devices indicates home and city, also the o2 version of the Motorola MPX220 will indicate it:

Finally the Homezone is coming to a Smartphone near you! :-) For o2 customers another good reason to take the o2 version of the MPx220 because - according to o2 Germany - it's not planned to release this plug-in as a download for other Smartphones, due to different radio stack implementations.

Cheers ~ Arne