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Businesses told not to wait for 3G services

Analysts have advised businesses to focus on GPRS mobile communications, rather than wait for faster 3G technology, following...

Analysts have advised businesses to focus on GPRS mobile communications, rather than wait for faster 3G technology, following last week's announcement that 3, the UK's only 3G operation, had slipped further behind schedule on delivering the technology.

Li Ka-shing, chairman of 3's parent firm Hutchison Whampoa said delays in the delivery of handsets meant the company would not break even until 2006 - one year later than forecast.

IDC analyst Paolo Pescatore said that 3G, which offers bandwidth speeds of up to 2mbps, would eventually be fully deployed, but users needed to look to GPRS, which offers up to 40kbps, for mobile data needs for the foreseeable future.

"3G services such as video and audio exist but issues with handsets' sophistication and numbers mean providers cannot offer the service to the extent they said they could. 3G will not be scrapped - it will come but it will come later than we were led to believe. With GPRS we have a technology that has good enough transfer rates for business users."

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