It’s all very well selling 3G PC cards to laptop owners, but selling 3G handsets is sure to be something of a nightmare for Vodafone.
Especially as the 3G handsets the company has got just can’t compete with the slimmer, sexier LG and Nokia phones on offer from 3. Vodafone will also struggle to compete with the attractive price deals 3 has come up with, for if it offers those budget prices its GPRS customers are likely to be more than a little peeved.
Although the company has already launched its 3G network in Germany and Spain, Vodafone knows the UK market will prove to be a ertough nut to crack. Its cunning answer is to turn the tables and find out exactly what its punters want and expect from 3G.
So it has decided to start a consumer trial of its 3G network before rolling it out across the UK. The trial will be targeted at Vodafone Live! users with a few thousand customers in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow able to try the 3G service using either the Samsung Z105, or the Sony Ericsson Z1010.
Still, even with a huge amount of feedback Vodafone will still have to sell not very sexy handsets that offer services (video calling, video downloads) it seems consumers aren’t yet ready for. Tough job.