The well-established Norwegian browser firm, Opera, released a new version of its stripped-down cell phone client, Opera Mini 4 this week. I don’t see why they label it Beta; it’s a solid product, and it may be had with a straight-to-smartphone download link, including Symbian (still the top smartphone OS worldwide) and Palm, and a ZIP file to install on the Blackberry.

They’ve even made a stab at the obligatory ‘Mac v PC’ styled video.

The key here is saving bandwidth, saving bucks. One review noted a NY Times page, 660KB in size, squeezed down to an 85KB download, and a BBC 270KB page arrived using only 40KB of data. This can be very good, for has noted:

…there’s no easy way to know how much data will be loaded every time you click on a link, and speculative searching can easily bring up many hundreds of kilobytes of high resolution graphics per page. Then there’s the sheer noise of modern network-aware applications. With probes for updates, new emails, IM contacts, VoIP calls and so on, a reasonably well equipped installation can be sending and receiving many tens of kilobytes a minute even if nothing’s apparently happening — and if an auto-update is triggered, tens of megabytes can appear unbidden.

Saving on cellular data bills might make IT folks look good and shiny, indeed.

Do you have ”unlimited” cellular data service, or is mobile data cost a concern? Join the discussion.