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Voice calls may be free on 3G mobiles
Posted: 21-May-2001 [Source: Reuters]

[Free voice one option as mobile operators study ways to encourage take-up of 3G.]

"Mobile phone companies may not charge for voice calls when they launch third-generation (3G) networks providing advanced Internet services starting this year, telecom executives said.

"Offering free voice calls to encourage take-up of 3G would be "a good idea", said Ralf Ohlhasen, a British Telecommunications executive working on Europe's first 3G network, on the Isle of Man.

"It's a possibility," he told Reuters.

"It is one of the first indications of how the industry might charge for the new service, which will offer videoconferencing, high-speed Web surfing and music and video downloads.

"Operators need to encourage a wide take up of 3G to recoup the more than 61 billion pounds they have spent on licences. BT is using the Isle of Man to experiment with 3G technology and pricing ahead of its launch in Spain this year and elsewhere in Europe from 2002.

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