More woe for 3G, says research

It will be a long time before the investment in 3G pays back and only three services will be around to pick up the reward

Only three third generation mobile phone services will be a success, according to research from consultancy OTR Monday. The research concludes that affordable services will not be available until 2004.

Location-based services -- where a retailer can alert a nearby customer of special offers etc -- such as games and sports or multimedia messages, are tipped by OTR to succeed while video conferencing, Net access and handheld ecommerce will have to wait for consumer acceptance.

By 2004 OTR reckons 3G phones will have completed the transmutation into intelligent "smartphones" costing around £180. But don't expect to pick one up for under £200 even then: infrastructure costs are likely to hike the cost of a phone beyond that figure until at least 2005.

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