Vodafone: No 3G an iPhone deal-killer

Vodafone: No 3G an iPhone deal-killer

Summary: Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin has confirmed an interest in the iPhone but admits he's worried about the lack of 3G connectivity in the device.

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Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin has confirmed an interest in the iPhone but admits he's worried about the lack of 3G connectivity in the device.

Discussing the company's quarterly results on Thursday, Sarin said that the mobile operator is still considering a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone: "We have to look at the economics: is it sensible for us to be carrying that and what the value leakage is. We've had the various discussions we've needed to have on that."

Sarin also expressed scepticism on the iPhone's lack of 3G coverage to date, after the device launched in the US sporting only EDGE coverage.

"We're now in broadband environment and you can't really get good experience off the Internet in 2G narrowband environments," he said.

However, the Vodafone CEO added that the iPhone has had a positive impact overall on users' perception of data. "Is it a good thing that this new kind of phone makes mobile Internet and data much more accessible? For our industry, it's a good thing that kind of product is coming around, it's software driven. It'll raise everyone's games, and that's a good thing."

The iPhone is expected to come to Australia some time next year. While Telstra is considered to be the likely front runner -- a Telstra spokesperson recently told ZDNet Australia "Telstra looks forward to reviewing the iPhone as we would all other devices in development" -- analysts have suggested Hutchison-owned 3 might also be a good fit for a 3G-enabled iPhone.

According to industry watchers Ovum, 70 percent of all connections in Australia by 2010 will be 3G, increasing from 29 percent in 2007.

Topics: Broadband, Apple, Big Data, Browser, iPhone, Mobility, Telcos, NBN

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6 comments
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  • no more 2g

    Telstra's 2g network to go dark in 2008
    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/communications/soa/Telstra-Network-will-go-dark-in-January/0,130061791,339279089,00.htm

    if that's on schedule, no i-phone for australia...
    anonymous
  • Ummm

    The CDMA network is being switched off, not their 2G network.
    anonymous
  • data charges

    I dont think data via mobile device is a important factor with Australian consumers, simple becuase it costs so darn much.

    At current changes and 2G speeds, you can rack up 100's of dollars worth of charges in 30 mins.
    We dont want to be able to rack up 100's of dollars worth of charges in minutes.

    Telco's, bring us cheap data first, then bring us speed.
    though Vodafones recents Mobile Broadband plans are good step in the right direction.
    anonymous
  • data charges

    Exactly, the charging in Australia is a joke, we pay a fortune for nothing. In the US for $30 a month they get unlimited downloads so why is it in this country we pay through the nose.

    Telstra is the issue, they are holding the nation back and turning us into a backwater.

    Telstra is a criminal organisation. Their ISP arm completely missleads people and takes advantage of people with little IT skills especially the elderly with these so called small useage accounts where they give you 300MB and charge by the MB after that. They know they are ripping you off and the govt is doing nothing to control them.
    anonymous
  • Surfing net with 2G sucks

    I have been using my JASJAM (on NextG) for the last 6 months and I cannot imagine surfing the web on 2G network. It would be too slow. And I use the JASJAM as a 3G wireless modem for my laptop when I am on the road. Seriously only 3G would be able to deliver adequate user experience. Naturally cheaper data rate is welcome.
    anonymous
  • Coverage

    Can I make mention here that Australia's population is spread MUCH thinner than the US, there are only 3 current mobile networks in the country (as opposed to close to a 100 in the US), and the number of paying customers per tower is much lower. This would make the maintenance cost per customer much higher than many other countries. Correct? Give the Telco's a break!
    anonymous