T-Mobile ends walled garden with Google deal

T-Mobile today said it will use Web search engine Google as the starting point for its new 3G mobile Internet experience. The carrier said it is moving to provide full Internet access on its handsets, dropping the unpopular "walled garden" model. T-Mobile will use the Opera browser on the Nokia 6680 as one of the first devices to push its new open mobile Web service. The carrier will also market the new Web service on its popular Sidekick II handheld. T-Mobile said it expects to attract 100,000 subscribers by the end of 2006.

T-Mobile hopes that a richer Internet experience on its phones, combined with faster 3G networks, will encourage more consumers to use the mobile Web. Carriers have struggled for years to spur adoption of the mobile Web. Many analysts and insiders have repeatedly blamed the "walled garden" (i.e., carrier-based portals that restrict Web access from a handset) for stunting the growth of mobile Internet use.

For more on T-Mobile's partnership with Google:
- read this article from AP