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Don't waste money on 3G - Which?

Teething problems

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Consumer magazine Which? is advising UK consumers not to waste their money on fancy 3G kit in the run-up to Xmas. It cites limited network coverage and "problems accessing 3G services successfully and consistently" as solid reasons to stick with 2G.

Not one 3G phone merited a Which? best buy billing. Network issues and bulky handsets contributed to the technology's poor performance in Which? tests which also consider sound quality, ease of use, battery life and reception.

Which? editor Malcolm Coles said: “There are teething problems with 3G phones and coverage, so we recommend sticking with a 2G phone for the time being. We’ll be keeping an eye on 3G phones over the coming months to see if they, and the networks, live up to their hype.”

A couple of operators are trumpeting 3G mobes as ideal Yule gifts in the traditional pre-Xmas spendfest. Vodafone is up-and-running with its Vodafone Live! service, and 3's lovely Flash site uses an animated panda to extol the virtues of Planet 3. Orange, meanwhile, is promising a brighter future with its service "coming soon this winter" and covering "66% of the population"; O2 recently said that 3G won't be ready for the mass market until Xmas 2005; while T-Mobile is currently keeping a low 3G profile and quietly punting its 3G communication centre for wireless laptop "connectivity". ®

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