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Hutchison 3G signs The Link

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Hutchison 3G has bagged The Link, Dixons Stores Group's mobile phone chain, as a reseller for its 3 -brand handsets and services. Some Dixons stores will also carry the line.

The Link is the third major mobile phone retailer to stock Hutchison 3G stuff, joining Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U. Hugh Symons Group and Avenir Telecom are wholesaling kit for indie retailers. So that's distribution sorted out for the UK's newest mobile network.

Hutchison 3G also has advertising sorted out, with a huge campaign festooning inter alia, the UK's big IT and business content sites. And it has the handsets, and the price plans. And of course, pre-registration, at three.co.uk, and sundry retailers (Dixons' effort, for example, is at www.thefuturelook.com).

But still, no public date for going live. A spokesman today told the newswires that the company is gunning for a Q1, 2003 network debut - we understand that the current internal launch target is March 3. But with no customer releases yet of any handsets for the Hutchison 3G network, and debugging and battery-life issues still to resolve, this is an ambitious goal. ®

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