Vodafone Says 3G Just a Technology, Not a Service
By Carlo Longino, Thu Dec 04 15:45:00 GMT 2003

The carrier's chief strategist says that it is well prepared for its 3G launch in April or May of next year with detailed data about the content and services it will send out over the high-speed network, and that those services are much more important than the network itself.

Alan Harper, Vodafone's group strategy director, told Nikkei Communications that Vodafone Live! has played a key role in preparing both the company and its customers for 3G, letting the company collect detailed data about what services have gone down well in each of the countries it offers service.

From his comments, it doesn't look like Vodafone is banking on offering a slew of new services alongside its 3G launch -- Harper singles out video services, saying new features like that must gradually take hold. But they're counting on the faster data speeds to improve user experience and customer satisfaction.

He also says that 3G will strengthen Vodafone's offerings for business users, allowing them to access networks across Europe at about 200kbps, a sevenfold increase over today's speeds. The carrier's pan-European footprint and simplified roaming means all those competing alliances will have their work cut out for them.