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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Finnish mobile phone operator Sonera Oyj is putting back the commercial launch of its 3G service until the first quarter of 2003. The launch, which had been originally planned for September 26, appears to have been delayed because of a lack UMTS-enabled handsets, as well as other unspecified factors.

However, hardware supplier Nokia Corp has downplayed suggestions that it may be at least partly at fault for Sonera's action, claiming that it still plans to launch 3G handsets on the same date, as originally promised.

In a small concession to its subscribers, Helsinki, Finland-based Sonera will introduce new 2.5G services such as mobile Java (J2ME) and multimedia messaging (MMS) on the proposed 3G launch date.

Sonera has experienced numerous difficulties making the transition to 3G, despite early indications that it would be among the first European operators to launch services. The company has frozen its 3G operations in Germany and Spain, and abandoned its 3G license in Norway.

© ComputerWire

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