One2One delays 3G phone launch until second half of 2003

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One2One, the mobile phone operator owned by Deutsche Telekom, does not plan to launch its third-generation phone service until the second half of 2003.

Furthermore, its GPRS, or 2.5G, service will not see the light of day until the first half of next year. "We haven't launched GPRS yet. Not because we couldn't but because we've chosen not to," said Harris Jones, the chief executive.

He said the company would only launch its GPRS service, which it will rename, once it could do so with a variety of interesting applications and services and a better choice of handsets.

"Next year is the year for us [the mobile phone industry] to make hay with GPRS," Mr Jones said, noting that he thought the industry had made a "terrible" mistake with the launch of the much-criticised WAP technology and was in danger of "marching down that same road" with GPRS.

Both Vodafone and mmO2, which operates the Cellnet brand in the UK, launched their 2.5G services over the summer. A lack of handsets has meant the service, which offers always-on internet access, has been slow to take off among consumers. Orange expects to have a GPRS service on offer before Christmas but will not promote it until next year.