Hutchison tips Aussie 3G rollout for 2003

In a race to deliver third generation mobile telephony services, Hutchison has announced a global deal with Motorola to develop 3G devices, with an expected 2003 rollout in Australia.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--In a race to deliver third generation mobile telephony services, Hutchison has announced a global deal with Motorola to develop 3G devices, with an expected 2003 rollout in Australia.

“We will be doing a staged commercial launch at the beginning of 2003,” a Hutchison spokesperson told ZDNet.

The Hutchison Whampoa Group, parent company of Hutchison Telecommunications, signed a contract with Motorola for the delivery of third generation wireless devices to deliver services in key markets including the UK and Australia. The deal is said to be worth more than US$700 million.

Hutchison expects to begin delivery of 3G services in the UK early in the third quarter of 2002 and at the beginning of 2003 in Australia.

Optus, however, announced an infrastructure deal with Nokia in April this year, claiming it would be ready for a 3G rollout when the spectrum is clear in late 2002, slating it slightly ahead of its competitors in the 3G race.

Meanwhile, Telstra has chosen to sit back and watch to find the most suitable technology to deliver its 3G services on.

“We’ll wait and see the demand for 3G services,” a Telstra spokesperson said in a previous ZDNet interview.

Australia’s 3G spectrum auction raised AU$1.17 billion (US$0.59 billion) in March this year, in which six successful bidders, including Telstra, Hutchison Telecommuncations, Cable & Wireless Optus and Vodafone, claimed their stake at 48 of the 58 available lots.

The 3G spectrum is set to provide mobile access to high-speed Internet, data, video and CD-quality music services.

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