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L'Orange might delay the consumer launch of 3G handsets until after Christmas if technical glitches are not sorted out.

Orange chief executive Sanjiv Ahuja told Reuters: "If the overall customer experience is not right, I would feel comfortable pushing the 3G launch to next year." He said problems would have to be sorted out by early November to allow the launch to go ahead.

Ahuja also criticised some handsets for generating too much heat: "you can fry eggs on them ..." But he said the firm's roadmap remained unchanged - it still hopes to offer two handsets for Christmas.

Orange has appointed a new head for the UK. Bernard Ghillebaert becomes executive vice president for Orange UK. He replaces John Allwood, who has left the mobile firm to join newspaper publisher the Telegraph Group. Ghillebaert previously ran Orange's Belgian subsidiary, Mobistar. ®

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