Voda plays Santa with 3G bonanza

Handsets a-go-go for Xmas

Vodafone is putting its substantial weight behind a 3G push by offering ten handsets in the run up to Christmas.

From November the firm will sell handsets from manufacturers including Samsung, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, NEC and Nokia. They will be available in all territories except Australia and New Zealand. The firm will be taking special interest in Japan where it has been losing customers to rival operators KDDI and DoCoMo. Seven handsets will be available in Japan and nine models in Europe.

The range includes what the company claims is Europe's first two mega pixel camera phone, the Sharp 902. Customers can use the phones in Europe and Japan on Vodafone's W-CDMA network. The range comprises the Sharp 802 and 902, the Motorola E1000, V980 and C980, NEC's 802N, the Sony Ericsson V800, Nokia 6630, and the Z110V and Z107V models from Samsung.

Until now Vodafone has focused its marketing muscle on flogging its 3G datacard. T-Mobile says it will offer four 3G handsets by Christmas and Orange has promised "several" handsets.

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