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Vodafone brings 3G to Europe

Well it does if you live in Germany or Portugal...

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Vodafone has gone live with 3G services in Germany and Portugal. Handsets go on sale at Vodafone stores today.

The telco is offering services on Samsung handsets but hopes to add a SonyEricsson handset soon. Services are to be extended and improved gradually. More handsets and services should be available later in the year.

The news is a vote of confidence in the technology because Vodafone said it would not launch until technical problems were solved.

Coverage will be limited initially to densely-popluated urban areas - covering roughly 30 per cent of the population. The company claims to have solved problems with calls "dropping off" when users move from 3G to 2G areas. Battery life has also been improved, with the new phones only slightly worse than existing 2G phones, acording to the FT. Vodafone will also offer video calls and messaging. It is talking to LG, Nokia and Sanyo about handsets.

T-Mobile and Orange are planning 3G launches for later this year. ®

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