The adoption of third generation services is expected to rapidly increase during 2006, as operators continue to rollout their third generation networks alongside compelling new services.
Orange today announced that it had struck new deals with a number of European operators, enabling its customers to use their 3G phones in 18 countries across the world ? more than any other UK operator can offer.
Keith Greenfield, Director of Roaming and Interconnect, said: ?2006 is going to be a big year for 3G both at home and abroad. Third generation technology is fast becoming a ?win win? story for the consumer. Network coverage is expanding while the cost of usage is falling. Consequently, adoption of 3G services will increase. We saw this happen with second generation voice and text in the late ?90s. Now it's 3G?s turn.?
According to an independent survey carried out by Aircom, Orange already delivers the UK?s largest integrated 3G network (to over 70% of the country) as well as a better quality of service than any other.
To compliment its national coverage, Orange now offers 3G roaming in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Orange already has the largest GPRS roaming coverage and the best seamless Prepay roaming coverage of any UK operator.
Today, Orange also announced a new Orange World ?roamers? home page which has been designed to bring greater visibility of the charges associated with using data abroad. As well as giving details of roaming costs, it will also offer links to sites that require only minimal data usage to view, delivering better value for Orange customers. The new simplified home page will be the first Orange World page that customers see if they are using the site internationally. The new home page will launch in the Spring. Customers can also access information about roaming with Orange at www.orange.co.uk/international.
Orange 3G data tariffs are split into five geographical zones and offer a fixed price per megabyte, regardless of which network a customer roams on. The website and new Orange World home page will enable customers to make an informed decision when using their phone abroad.
Greenfield added: ?In the last quarter of 2005, 22 per cent of customers signing up to Orange opted for a 3G phone and tariff. On average, those customers then used more than five times the amount of data than they did on their 2G phone. The demand for 3G services is growing and we?re expecting further acceleration this year.?
Orange currently has over 300,000 3G customers in the UK and is expecting that figure to rise to 1.5 million by the end of this year.