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Vodafone rewrites history with 3G claims

Hung by its own press release

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Vodafone's claims that it never promised video on its 3G phones from the start have been contradicted - by one of the company's own press releases.

Last week, a story in the FT pointed out that since Vodafone was only guaranteeing 64Kbps for its 3G network - due to go live in the middle of next year - it could not support video and didn't even fit with the recognised 3G standards that insist on a minimum 144Kbps speed.

As video, and video clips, are the main selling point of 3G networks, the revelation puts a big question mark over Vodafone's service and raised questions over whether 3G would be a WAP MkII and fail miserably, despite the millions spent on it.

A Vodafone spokesman told us at the time: "There will be video streaming several years down the line. There will be video clips at launch but they may be rudimentary at the start. We never said that these sort of services would be offered at launch."

But what about this official press release dated 16 December 1999?. Entitled "Vodafone and BBC Set the standards for future mobile and multimedia services", it speaks of the company's plans to work with the BBC in supplying news and content to new mobile phones.

But near the bottom, it says: "By 2002, the introduction of 3G mobile phones with full multi-media capabilities will allow complete broadband access to Internet services, so customers will also be able to hear and see audio and video news stories on demand using voice-activated commands."

But as we now know, this simply isn't true. The multi-media capabilities will only be available "a few years down the line".

Yes, we have taken a copy if Vodafone decides to rewrite history. ®

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