Feeds

Orange slams Three's ‘bad PR’ for 3G

Suffering network and handset problems, allegedly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Orange has accused Three and its parent company, Hutchison, of bringing 3G technology into disrepute.

In an interview with Scotland on Sunday newspaper yesterday, Orange's UK finance director, Mike Newnham, claimed that Three customers were having to return their videophone handsets to the company's shops because the hardware doesn't work properly.

"I think customers that have decided to buy a handset are having problems with networks and handsets," Newnham alleged. "There are a lot of issues they are facing which are technical involving handsets and the networks."

Three admitted that it has had problems, but stressed that these were minor issues: "This is a new technology and when you launch a new technology, there is an element of having teething problems," a spokesman told the paper.

He also dismissed Newnham's other claim: that Three's pricing strategy is unsustainable. Three prices are much lower than Orange's, he said, adding that Orange was simply being left behind. Orange is not expected to launch a 3G service of its own until 2004.

Three began offering its 3G service in March. So far, its coverage is limited. It can provide voice telephony and picture messaging throughout most of the UK, but videophone coverage is largely limited to the country's biggest metropolitan areas and the major road and rail routes linking them.

It does, after all, take time to roll out a full service, as Orange well knows. Early Orange subscribers - including this reporter - will recall that back in 1994, when Orange launched, its digital service was similarly much-reduced.

Hutchison claims to be selling 3000-4000 3G handsets each week through Carphone Warehouse alone.

As Scotland on Sunday points out, all this is typical of the mud-slinging common in the highly competitive mobile phone arena. The irony here is that Three, owned by Hutchison, comes in from criticism from Orange, formerly owned by... Hutchison. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.