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BT Joins NTT DoCoMo in Delaying the Rollout of 3G

British Telecom (BT) announced yesterday that its subsidiary, Manx Telecom, would be delaying the rollout of 3G services on the Isle of Man, a small island off the coast of England. BT was in line to be the first to roll out 3G services after NTT DoCoMo announced at the end of April that it was also delaying the full rollout of 3G until October of this year.

BT ( www.bt.com) now says that it will roll out service on the Isle of Man in the fall, and cites problems with the handsets NEC has supplied. The phones apparently lose their connection when a customer goes from one cell to another.

According to a BBC online article, a spokesman for BT stated that NTT DoCoMo also delayed its rollout because of a similar problem with the handsets.

The prestigious designation of "first" is mainly a PR tactic, and if small test groups are included, then NTT DoCoMo will pretty much already take the cake. DoCoMo states that it has already installed 200 base stations, related networks and other facilities with its "Introductory Service" area, which includes the 23 wards of Tokyo and selected areas of Yokohama and Kawasaki.

NTT announced last week that it was accepting applications from individuals to participate in a limited service trial of FOMA, the brand name for its 3G multimedia services. The deadline for individuals to apply is tomorrow, May 16, and DoCoMo hopes to attract up to 4,000 individuals as "monitors" for the service with the lure of free handsets and an exception from initial administrative charges.

DoCoMo does not expect to offer the FOMA service in all major Japanese cities until the spring of 2002.

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