3G Phone Promising but Uptake Slow

February 13th, 2005

From Cannes, France: AP News

This year’s 3GSM World Congress marks a coming of age for faster third-generation mobile services in much of the industrialized world, and 39,000 visitors registered ahead of Monday’s opening — 10,000 more than last year.

The number of companies showcasing the music games, music, video-streaming and other high-tech phone services made possible by “3G” has almost doubled, organizer Louisa Rogers said. “We’re getting to the point where we’re splitting at the seams.”

But behind the gadgetry and glitz on display at the Mediterranean coastal resort, times are harder than they appear.

Uptake of the faster phones last year fell short of earlier expectations. In western Europe, sales of handsets running on UMTS networks — the 3G successor to the region’s dominant GSM standard — accounted for 4 percent of all units sold. Phones using EDGE, the main U.S. equivalent, represented about 3 percent of North American sales.

Entry Filed under: 3G Services,Mobile Phones

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