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Politicians to bail out struggling 3G markets

European ministers are thinking of giving cash to 3G projects in a desperate attempt to speed up the roll out of the next generation mobile networks.
Written by Mark Graham, Contributor

European ministers are thinking of giving cash to 3G projects in a desperate attempt to speed up the roll out of the next generation mobile networks.

The news comes hard on the heels of comments made by Orange's former chief that the technology will be delayed. Speaking at the Accenture Global Communications Forum in Miami, Hans Snook, former CEO of Orange, said he did not expect widespread use of 3G before 2004. At the same time, European ministers attending a meeting about electronic communications in Brussels this week have talked about offering grants to speed up the adoption of 3G technology. An EC memo states: "It is important to support the acceleration of 3G... in order to make the technology available on the market quicker." According to ministers, the technology is vital for the European economy. Mike Short, vice president of industry relations and standards at BT Wireless, said for 3G to be truly successful it needs to be implemented efficiently and this involves collaboration between industry and government. Speaking at a 3G summit last night, he said part of persuading customers to sign up is making sure the right structures are introduced as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Despite delays in the roll-out, Mike Short insisted 3G would happen and be successful. He said: "Of course 3G will happen - we will see services this year. However, admittedly they won't be widespread."
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