2/16/2005 12:00:00 AM
'2005 is 3G Christmas'
The Carphone Warehouse has been talking up the expected growth of 3G this year.
Speaking as Carphone started selling Vodafone, Orange and O2 3G last week, MD Andrew Harrison (pictured) said that now the Big Four had launched their own 3G services through indirect channels, sales would take off this year.
CEO Charles Dunstone last month claimed that 3G handsets accounted for a fifth of sales in the last quarter and that next Christmas will be a ‘3G Christmas’.
However, all Carphone’s 3G sales were from 3, as none of the Big Four operators had launched in Carphone before Christmas, and 3’s particularly high run rate in the build-up to December was offset by aggressive plays by Orange and T-Mobile for GSM connections.
Harrison said: ‘3G is really starting to accelerate now and for the first time today our customers have the choice of four of the main networks.
‘We expect that competition will really take off by the middle of this year, when all the networks will have fully launched their services. Once you’re comfortable with the technology, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose 2.5G.’
The retailer was one of the first to push 3G when it offered 3 connections with Nokia 7600 devices – originally rejected by 3 for their lack of video calling – and saw sales of around 8,000 per week as a result.