Vodafone, Cingular Wireless, Globe Telecom, Hutchison 3G (3 Ireland), KTF, MTN, Orange, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor,and T-Mobile have announed that they will all be reviewing the ‘3G For All’ approach to lowcost handset design in the near future, culminating in a single low-cost 3G handset in an attempt to drive up volume sales.
Both 3 and Vodafone in Ireland are leading the way in 3G content delivery with O2 and Meteor yet to get into gear but its good two see at least two of the country’s mobile operators adopting the approach.
According to The Register today,
The winner will be announced at 3GSM in February next year, and the handset will be available to any operator. The 12 participants are just signed up to take part in the selection process and in return will commit to buying quite a few handsets – though they aren’t saying how many.
The mobile web is developing at a fast rate so hopefully this will lead to an uptake in middle-market areas but as of yet there is no indiciation how low the companies are willing to go pricewise in the release of the handsets. The cheapest 3G handset at present in Ireland on offer from 3 at the moment is â‚¬99 for the pre-paid option, giving you a Motorola V3x or the LG U8330. Contract options start a lot better with handsets beginning at â‚¬1.
For me to make the switch though they’ll certainly need to come down a peg or two, in particular if you’re to buy a sim free hand set.