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Vodafone looks beyond 3G

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Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin has called on the mobile industry to come together and build standards to take it beyond 3G.

He warned that competing technologies would slow network growth, increase costs and damage the industry. The comments come as Vodafone rolls out its 3G network in Japan. The company is using W-CDMA and is struggling to challenge DoCoMo and KDDI which have 3m and 17m 3G subscribers. Vodafone recently announced that it is testing technology from Flarion Technologies to boost wireless data speeds to 3Mbps.

Sarin said: "For us 3G is not a big bang; it is an evolution. We are careful in deploying 3G in areas where we think we can get a return. As we go from 25 to 50 to 75 per cent, at some point we are going to say that is enough. The last 25 per cent may not need 3G, as there may be another technology that comes along." According to the Financial Times, Sarin also said there was still room for growth in voice use on mobile phones.

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