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L'Orange is launching consumer 3G services in the UK and France. It is claiming the most comprehensive range of handsets - four are available immediately and two more on the way soon. Tariffs start at £30 a month including mobile internet access and video calling.

The mobile operator says its 3G network covers 70 per cent of the UK population and tis integrated with the 2G network, so subscribers won't lose connections.

Bernard Ghillebaert, executive vice president at Orange UK, said: "This is just the start of the 3G evolution. Throughout 2004 we have been making sure that the building blocks are in place so that 2005 opens up a new world of mobility for our customers."

There are four handsets available immediately - LG U8150, Samsung Z107, Sanyo S750 and Sony Ericsson Z1010. The Nokia 6630 and Motorola C975 will be available soon. For £30 a month punters get 50 MB of data downloads, 60 minutes of video calling and 200 minutes of cross network talk minutes.

Subscribers can also access 3G services in Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain. 2,000 consumers have been trialling the service since July 2004 and 10,000 people have expressed an interest in 3G services.

More here. ®

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