Hutchison performs successful 3G test

Hutchison 3G looks on track to launch its third-generation services later this year, and has just teamed up with nine mobile games developers

Amid growing scepticism about third-generation mobile phones, Hutchison 3G appears to be making good progress towards launching a high-speed mobile network in the UK later this year.

According to reports, Hutchison 3G has started demonstrating its service to a number of City analysts. This demo is thought to have involved working 3G handsets running several 3G applications.

Many analysts have been suggesting that 3G, which will let users surf the Internet at high speeds and view video content on their mobile, is several years away from becoming a commercial reality. Hutchison, though, is sticking to its plan of launching its UK 3G service in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Hutchison did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but it is understood that around 40 percent of the UK population will be covered by its 3G service when it first launches.

Hutchison 3G has also just teamed up with nine games developers in an attempt to boost the amount of compelling services it will have on offer. This includes a partnership with iFone -- which has created mobile phone versions of several popular Atari console games. These deals will give Hutchison 3G access to at least 40 games that will be designed to run on 3G devices, including a number of original games.

"Third generation networks offer an exciting new gaming platform for everyone's pocket," said Lisa Gernon, Hutchison 3G's strategy and marketing director, in a statement, adding that the company had selected partners with the expertise and creativity to deliver compelling gaming experiences.

Hutchison 3G's most compelling service, though, is likely to be its deal with the Premiership that means it will be able to show video clips of top-level English football matches.

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