Following Vodafone’s announcement last week that it would have to delay 3G roll-out in key markets such as the UK and Germany because of handset problems, Motorola and Nokia have denied that their kit is at fault.
According to a report in Dutch trade magazine Telecom.paper, Motorola and Nokia say they are sticking to their original time schedules for handset launch. They aim to deliver a test batch of phones to Vodafone and its rivals during fall 2002, and then roll out production models in Q1 2003.
Vodafone has delayed its 3G launch dates outside Japan to spring 2003, and Vodafone Germany CEO Juergen von Kuczkowski says that the poor quality of 3G handsets is to blame. No operator has yet managed to make a dual-mode 2G/3G devices work properly on its network.
Whether the fault actually lies with Vodafone or with its suppliers is not clear. However, it is certainly true that handset problems have dogged European 3G launch; even Hutchison 3G, which still expects to launch this year, admits that its initial handset models will not be able to switch from 2G to 3G without dropping calls.