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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Vodafone extends UK 3G coverage
Laptop with Vodafone 3G card
Vodafone has extended its 3G coverage for laptop users
Mobile telecoms giant Vodafone is rolling out its third generation (3G) services for business customers to all major UK cities.

The expansion follows a trial scheme in London and the M4 corridor.

Aimed mainly at business users, the service needs a plug-in card to bring laptop PC users high speed data while they are on the move.

Vodafone has not yet revealed when 3G services will be made available to mobile phone users.

Launch delays

The new 3G technology promises to provide speedy e-mails and data transfer, allowing pictures and video clips to be sent to mobile phones.

We've got plans for the casual user right behind this but we won't launch until we're ready
Bill Morrow, Chief Executive Vodafone UK

But the high cost of 3G licences has put strain on the finances of those companies that bid for them and won. Vodafone spent 6bn to obtain its licence and are confident of recovering the cost.

It has taken time though for firms to launch their 3G services and the consumer market has also shown less interest than expected.

Chief Executive of Vodafone UK, Bill Morrow, said "Many customers see the change from 2G to 3G in much the same way as the mark-up from dial-up to broadband".

Customers will pay 50 if their companies are buying the datacards in bulk to 180 for individuals who travel infrequently on business.

Hutchison launched its 3 network in March 2003 and last month said it had 361,000 customers in the UK.

Vodafone already has 3G up and running in Italy and Germany.

The Japanese are well ahead of Europe with mobile phone users, particularly younger people, using e-mails and pictures on a regular basis.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones
"After investing billions to get this far Vodafone was determined to celebrate"



SEE ALSO:
Vodafone brings 3G to UK business
12 Feb 04  |  Business
Hutchison hit by 3G phone losses
18 Mar 04  |  Business
Shaky outlook for 3G mobiles
10 Aug 02  |  Technology
Mobile users 'unexcited by 3G'
18 Jun 02  |  Business
Vodafone fails 3G test
07 Sep 01  |  Business
Vodafone passes 3G 'milestone'
17 Apr 01  |  Business


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