Double-Click For 3G Handsets

Some thought it might never happen. But if reports in the Financial Times are true, punters in Italy will be able to order a 3G mobile phone on H3G Italy's website from next Monday, and on Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.'s site later in November.

When those orders will be honored with the delivery of a handset is another matter. The dualmode (WCDMA and GSM) 3G handsets, supplied by NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY), are currently being trialed by "friendly users" in the U.K. and Italy, and technical problems are still being resolved, according to Hutchison spokespeople. Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is the other named handset provider, though it has not managed to deliver phones in bulk yet. NEC has delivered 1,000 devices.

The handsets will cost between €600 ($592.5) and €900 ($888.5), according to the Times, but these prices have not been made official by the operators.

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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