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News | 03/10/2004 5:00 am EST

Yankee Group reports on 3G and ringback services
Third-generation wireless difficulties in Western Europe will end soon, according to recent research from the Yankee Group. But the market research firm says to expect the shakeout to continue for a little while longer as witnessed by recent plans to abandon 3G altogether in certain markets. Eight of 70 3G licences awarded in Western Europe have been scrapped, while a few more remain in serious doubt. But the Yankee Group indicates better fortunes are on the horizon. Most carriers are currently in pre-commercial trials, but will move to commercially available services this year. Carrier pressure on vendors and greater economies of scale will mean better and cheaper equipment. Technical problems experienced by NTT DoCoMo and Hutchison’s 3 will be avoided by other European carriers. Where CDMA-based services will compete with W-CDMA in Japan, that isn’t the case in Western Europe where there is a lack of competing technologies. If the Western Europe market follows the same path as Japan, there will be more than 8 million W-CDMA users in the region by mid-2005.

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