10/11/2004

Vodafone launches 3G service

Vodafone have launched the long-awaited third generation, 3G, mobile phone service that offers video calls and music downloads.

The use of 3G technology promises faster data rates for mobile users that will provide extra bandwidth for better pictures and higher quality sound.

The chief executive of Vodafone, Arun Sarin, said: "Today is an important day for Vodafone and the start of a new era in mobile communications.

"Vodafone live! with 3G will dramatically change the way our customers experience their Vodafone services and we are confident that Vodafone live! with 3G will be a success. Customers want communication, organisation, entertainment and information on the move and they will increasingly turn to one device to deliver these needs – their mobile phone."

He said that Vodafone expected over 10 million customers to be using Vodafone live! with 3G inside 18 months.

Vodafone live! with 3G is initially available in 13 countries around the world: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Ten 3G capable handsets will offer a wide choice for customers.

Following the earlier launch of Vodafone's Mobile Connect 3G data card and the introduction of initial 3G consumer services across eight European markets, the launch of Vodafone live! with 3G is viewed as a significant step in Vodafone's 3G strategy.

Vodafone have promised customers an easy-to-understand pricing structure and simplified bills to encourage use of the 3G service.

Content purchases will be charged on an event basis and browsing will be free or included in the purchased package.

Vodafone said customers would be offered promotional bundles to help the uptake of new Vodafone services.

(SP/GMCG)

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