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UPDATED: Three (3) Touts 1m EU Mobile Broadband Subscribers
By: MarkJ - 25 July, 2008 (1:18 PM)

Mobile operator Three (Hutchison Whampoa) has managed to sign-up one million Mobile Broadband customers (nearly 500k in the UK) across all of its various Europe bases, including the UK, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Austria. However, Christian Salbaing, Managing Director European Telecoms at Hutchison Whampoa, warned that high roaming rates could still hinder the market:

"Mobile broadband’s greatest strength is its mobility, yet consumers are rightly fearful of the excessive charges faced when they roam off our networks. Some networks are charging the equivalent of €12 to watch a three minute YouTube clip or up to €180 to download an hour of television, this could inflict serious harm on a growing market.

The EC has an opportunity to bring the same clarity and value to data roaming as it did so successfully with voice last year. The difference between domestic and roaming data rates is far greater than with voice, only wholesale action can put an end to charges that are sometimes hundreds of times greater than our customers pay at home,
" he commented.

Meanwhile, chip giant Intel has predicted that portable Internet-enabled devices will grow to 1.2bn by 2012 and 100m households will be watching IPTV by 2011.


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