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Buying 3 phones disappointing – report

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"3" is flogging its 3G phone services based on the lure of low cost voice calls rather than multimedia services.

So say analysts at Strand Consult who are dismayed that 3 - Hutchison's 3G brand - isn't doing more to punt the technology.

"After all the hype around 3G and '3' and all the services that will be available at high speed over the network - what is the main selling point for a new '3 mobile phone? Unbelievably it is the price of the voice traffic," said Strand Consult.

It went on: "Just telling us that '3' has the cheapest voice minutes is from an uncertain salesman's point of view, by far the easiest way of selling a "3" phone with subscription for now, but from a long term strategy point of view, the most unfortunate sales pitch possible."

However, 3 has hit back, dismissing Strand's report on its "consumer buying experience" insisting that punters still need to be made aware of the benefits of 3G.

A spokesman for 3 explained: "We've made it very clear from the outset that we were going to offer very competitive voice services as well as 3G multimedia services."

Separately, 3's video mobile network is now available in more than fifty urban areas in the UK.

The service had effectively been available in southern parts of the UK but is now available in Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As a result, 3 phones will now be stocked in a further 800 shops throughout the UK. ®

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