Hutchison iPhone support unclear

Summary:Hutchison is unable to say whether customers would be able to use unlocked iPhone handsets on its "3" network.

Hutchison is unable to say whether customers would be able to use unlocked iPhone handsets on its "3" network.

As the only major Australian mobile carrier not to offer Apple's 3G iPhone, many Hutchison customers had expected they would be able to purchase unlocked prepaid iPhones from Optus, the only carrier to offer a prepaid iPhone, and swap an existing Hutchison SIM card into the handset to use the 3 network.

However, some customers on internet forums have started reporting problems with such a technique, which was believed to have previously worked for the first-generation iPhone.

"In regard to using the iPhone on the 3 network, at this point we aren't able to say what that experience might be," a Hutchison spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au this morning.

"We are currently testing it and we'll keep you posted as to what the options will be for 3 customers." The spokesperson declined to put a timeframe for when the carrier would know whether the 3G iPhone would work on its network, saying only it would let customers know "shortly".

The iPhone on paper appears to be a match with the 3 network, due to its support for the 2,100MHz frequency used by the network. It also supports much less popular frequencies such as 850MHz, which is used only by Telstra's Next G network and a small number of other networks around the world.

Telstra, Vodafone and Optus launched the much-anticipated iPhone nationwide this morning.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Optus, Telcos, Telstra

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