UK - 3G arrives in Britain +/-
(Euractiv) On the special date of 03/03/03, the next generation mobile phone company 3 announced the phased launch of the first third generation mobile phone service in Britain. The UK arm of Hutchison 3G, majority owned by the Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and partly owned by Japan's NTT DoCoMo and KPN Telecom of Holland, said it expected the first 3G handsets to be available to customers within the next two weeks. The launch has been delayed since early 2001 by handset shortages and software glitches. Hutchison's 3 UK unit plans for a nine-country launch this year (including Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Ireland), and seems cautiously optimistic on demand for 3G services that include video calls, colour video clips, picture messaging and Internet browsing. The company hopes to sell around two million new phones in Europe by the end of 2003. In Britain, Hutchison will battle established rivals Vodafone Group, Orange, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and mmO2, who do not expect to launch 3G services until 2004. More than 65,000 Britons have already signed up for 3G mobile phones. see also UK - 3G phones hit the shops this weekend (Reuters).