Wednesday, November 23, 2005

3G Breakthrough In Europe Not Seen This Christmas

Dow Jones reports that although 3G services in Europe are picking up momentum, "analysts don't expect a 3G phone to be the must-have Christmas gift this year."

Neil Mawston at Strategy Analytics predicted that "only 14% of around 55 million mobile phones sold in Western Europe in the fourth quarter will be 3G-enabled," which is up 8 percent from the beginning of the year but still slower than expected.

According to Strategy Analytics the Hutchison and Vodaphone were the two biggest 3G players in Western Europe with around 87% of total 3G subscribers at the end of June. Mawston said, "It will be mainly Hutchison and Vodafone for the rest of this year."

Dario Talmesio at Informa believed "there will be substantial pickup of 3G in some countries in the fourth quarter, with progress on a wider scale next year." He said, "In 3G-oriented countries such as Italy and the U.K., around 30% of mobile phone sales in the fourth quarter could be 3G."

At the same time, Gartner warned "there will be a buildup of inventory of 3G phones as consumers fail to pick them up." Carolina Milanesi at Gartner said, "Operators will fail to have their bright 3G Christmas."