Vodafone Launches 3G Europe-Wide

Yesterday Mike covered Vodafone’s 3G launch in the UK, but today the news is the Vodafone’s launch in Austria, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The global carrier invested a frighteningly large sum total of US$26 billion on 3G spectrum licenses and hopes to pay off that investment by adding 10 million 3G subs by March 2006. The key content differentiator they hope will drive this is mobile video and video calls. Mike has doubts about mobile TV and I have doubts about demand for video calls. I think the big upshot of this will end up being increased competition with companies like “3UK” and other upcoming 3G networks, and I think the competition will largely be in the form of cheaper rates for voice minutes. Sure, data take rates will increase, but right now US customers use some 7x the voice minutes EU customers use each month, and 3G competition will mostly drive down the per-minute price in the EU and drive up the MOUs.

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