UK carrier 3 hopes to offer iPhone in 2010

Yet another UK mobile carrier seems set to introduce the iPhone on its network in 2010, with dedicated 3G network, 3, confirming it hopes to offer the device.

The smallest UK network, 3 offers advanced 3G mobile services. Nigel Field, Director of Devices at 3G Operator 3 UK confirmed the networks seeing ever-increasing popularity for touchscreen handsets, particularly the HTC Hero.

“The HTC Hero has set a precedent for functionality in phones. The user experience is comparable only to the iPhone, it looks good and is cheaper to boot”, he said. (And Android-powered device with Spotify support).

Field predicts “3G devices will get “smarter” and cheaper, as the market polarises between high end feature rich devices, and their value alternatives”

On the iPhone, he observed, “We don’t currently have a commercial relationship with Apple but are working to change this during 2010 and add Apple to our portfolio.”

Meanwhile, cooperative competition is the order of the day in France, where iPhone is becoming the dominant smartphone. France’s three established mobile phone operators have signed an agreement to share third-generation mobile network installations in order to extend 3G network coverage across the country, French telecoms regulator Arcep said Wednesday.

The agreement will help speed up the extension of the 3G network in France and will enable full nationwide coverage by the end of 2013.

Meanwhile new data from Research and Markets claims the market for mobile data in both Eastern and Western Europe is potentially enormous. Application stores, initiated by Apple and Nokia and increasingly adopted by pan-European network operators such as Orange, have extended the reach and potential revenue to be derived from gaming, video, music and thousands of additional applications, they note.

Significantly, by the beginning of 2010 data accounted for about 26% of overall mobile revenue, compared to 16% in 2006.

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