Issue #2003 - 02
INFRASTRUCTURE, PRODUCTS & SERVICES
1. Orange abandons 3G in Sweden
Orange has decided to drop its plans to roll out a 3G network in Sweden after months of haggling with Swedish regulators to ease the carrier's license restrictions. Orange says its strict license conditions -- as well as the tough wireless market -- mean it can no longer afford its Swedish operations. Orange had wanted to reduce its coverage to 8.3 million people from 8.86 million -- a 6 percent cut, but one which might have cut off coverage to large parts of rural Sweden. Orange's withdrawal could have implications for its rivals, Vodafone Sweden and Hi3G Access. The three had agreed to share rural infrastructure costs.
2. Vodafone launches 3G in Japan
Vodafone launched its first 3G network today in Japan through carrier J-Phone. J-Phone has set ambitious targets for the new service, aiming for 1 million subscribers by March 2004. Such aspirations, however, seem unlikely given the lackluster performance of rival DoCoMo's 3G FOMA service, which has only attracted 149,000 new subscribers since its launch in October 2001. J-Phone has said it will initially target enterprise users with its new 3G service, offering roaming in over 50 countries.
3. HUTCHISON DISCLOSES 3G PRICING TARIFFS. HUTCHISON EXPECTS 3G ARPU AT LEAST £1200 P.A.
UK MNO Hutchison 3G announces its 3G tariffs, offering handsets from £400 ($600) and pricing packages from £60-100 per month ($80-150).
4. 3G HAS STRONG FUTURE DESPITE SLOW START SAY JAPANESE ANALYSTS
Japan currently has around 4 million 3G users. The initial predictions stated that there would be over 8 million by April 2003. Whilst DoCoMo has shrunk from its original targets, some analysts believe that within 2-3 years 3G will be the norm.
5. AT&T Wireless scales back 3G roll out
AT&T Wireless and partner NTT DoCoMo last week said they plan to launch 3G wireless services in only four cities the U.S. by December 2004. The service, which will be the first WCDMA launch in the U.S., will be offered initially in San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, and San Diego. The new plan is a scale-back of AT&T Wireless' earlier plans, which called for a WCDMA launch in 13 U.S. cities by the summer of 2004. DoCoMo has struggled to attract customers to its year-old 3G service in Japan, the world's first WCDMA network, but has expressed high hopes that it would become a new driver of profit growth. DoCoMo's 3G network now covers more than 80 percent of Japan's population and is set to reach 90 percent by next March. Despite the lackluster performance of its 3G service, DoCoMo has remained committed to the service.
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