Orange confirms 3G launch by end of year

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With 3 unveiling a bevy of new handsets (details later today) and Vodafone naming its 3G launch day next week, we had been wondering how the other UK networks would respond. No surprise then that Orange today confirmed it would launch its 3G services for consumers by the end of the year and that it would offer five 3G handsets.

The big news is that Orange will be first to offer the rather natty Sanyo S750 mobile. A regular at exhibitions and trade shows over the past year the handset is the first 3G phone to feature a sliding mechanism as popularised by Siemens and Samsung. It also has a mega pixel camera on board, a striking QVGA screen and offers all the calling card 3G features like person to person video calling and video download. There will be more on the handset later.

Orange has also lined up Nokia’s key 3G phone the 6630, which has started shipping to suppliers this week. Also on board is LG with the 8150, a slightly different take on the handset that has been doing great business for UK 3G network 3. Completing the range are the rather podgy Sony Ericsson Z1010 and Samsung’s Z107.

As for the network Orange is now claiming that it 3G coverage will be available to 66% of the population – slightly more than Vodafone but still a long way behind 3.

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