Hutchison Inches Closer to 3G

Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. is to distribute 1,000 dualmode W-CDMA/GSM handsets to "friendly users" during October as it gears up towards commercial services by the end of 20002.

"The first batch of 1,000 handsets is being delivered early in October, but we are not going to say whether they are coming from NEC Corp. [Nasdaq: NIPNY] or Motorola Inc. [NYSE: MOT]," says Ed Brewster. "As part of our phased rollout -- we have people within the company using 3G phones already -- these handsets will be used by friendly customers during October. The next phase of the rollout will be to have paying customers before the end of this year." [Ed. note: Hope they stay friendly!]

There is one exact date Brewster is sure about. "Despite reports in the media, we will not be launching on October 2. That's just wrong. So please don't phone me on October 2." We won't, Ed, we won't.

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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