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Hutchison Whampoa '3' To Start Operations In Home Turf

By the end of the month, Hutchison Whampoa plans to launch 3G W-CDMA service in its home turf of Hong Kong, where it operates a landline telco. After the disastrous “3” launches in the UK and Italy, it will be interesting to see if the “3” branded service does better in the region where Hutch has the most experience. To date, 80,000 people have pre-registered for the service which will cost some US$34/mo on top of the $500+ phone. We expect the HK launch to fare better than the EU “3”s, since Hutch knows the market, has existing customers to migrate, has existing business and content relationships, and has the experience of their European ‘learning’. Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing, claims 210,000 3G customers in the UK, 340,000 in Italy and 110,000 in operations in Australia, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark.

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