is a brand used for nine mobile telecommunications
networks in Europe, Asia and Australia. Hutchison
Whampoa holds a direct or indirect, majority or
minority interest in all of them. All 3-branded
networks emphasize their offering of "mobile
multimedia" and provide 3G technology (WCDMA,
some also run 2G networks). 3 is present in Australia,
Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and Macau, Indonesia,
Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Hutchison Whampoa also holds a 3G-license in Israel
which operates under the brand Orange, and in
Norway which is not operational yet. As of 22nd
August 2007, registered 3 customers worldwide
numbered almost 15.9 million.
aggressively markets new handsets and services
and launches new products regularly, lately focussing
on Mobile TV and Skype services. As with other
3G networks around the world, 3 allows video calling
and fast internet access from most of its handsets.
other GPRS content (T-Zones, O2 Active) 3's portal
is 'free to browse' for some content in most 3
countries including UK and Austria in most price
plans; the user pays a fixed price for each video,
text or application downloaded.
that, 3 UK and also 3 Ireland initially made the
decision to block direct Internet access from
handsets, while 3 Austria allowed access to the
internet since the beginning.
2004, 3 released a PC card 3G Data Card ("NetConnect
Card") for Windows-based laptops which allows
Internet access through 3's network directly from
the computer, accompanied by a range of data and
business tariffs. Later, more cards and USB modems
for HSDPA were introduced.
Internet access restrictions in the UK
result of the decision in the UK to block direct
Internet access from the handsets was that, unlike
the UK's other leading networks, arbitrary web
and email servers could not be accessed from a
handset on their network. Instead, they provided
their own web-based content through the handset's
online portal, offering popular video and text
content, ranging from video news bulletins to
online dating systems. This system became known,
somewhat unaffectionately, as the "walled
garden" by many of 3 UK's power users, frustrated
at not being able to access the sites they wanted.
strict policy in the UK was relaxed in September
2005, and customers were permitted restricted
Internet access to a limited selection of third-party
websites; those that 3 tested and deemed suitable
and usable. It was also possible for customers
to submit sites for consideration. Customers who
required full Internet access, or who wanted to
use their handsets as a modem, were able to purchase
fixed amounts of data transfer for a fee.
the latter half of 2006, 3 UK decided to relax
their policy on Internet access further by providing
30 MB web access to new customers free of charge.
It's worth noting that this only allows access
to sites using port 80, thus access to external
email accounts, such as POP3 and IMAP4 mailboxes,
and access to services which don't use port 80,
is not allowed with the inclusive data. 3's UK
Internet access only includes handset browsing
and modem use is charged separately.
new policy follows the example of the world's
largest mobile network provider Vodafone and is
inspiring a new industry ready to start developing
solutions for the mobile web. An example are services
such as Blitzplanet or 10pText.co.uk, both services
are accessible to 3 customers who want to continue
using their phone for familiar applications like
text or picture messaging but with the added twist
of using the far cheaper Internet option to do
November 2007, 3 started to sell the Skypephone,
which was developed together with Skype and combines
the functionality of a UMTS handset with free
voice calls and instant messages from Skype.
Main article: X-Series
16 November 2006, Hutchison Whampoa Limited announced
the global launch of the X-Series from 3 with
a webcast presentation live from London which
featured leaders and managers from their major
partners Skype, Sling Media, Yahoo!, Nokia, Google,
eBay, Microsoft, Orb and Sony Ericsson.
X-Series from 3 marks 3's beginning of the Internet
via UMTS, and heralds a new way of doing business
for mobile network operators [...] Customers will
be able to make unlimited calls from their mobile
using Skype to 'on-line' Skype users, watch their
home television via their mobile using Sling,
if they buy additional hardware(Slingbox), access
their home PC remotely using Orb and have access
to the best of internet and messaging services
from Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger and Google,
depending on handset capability" Other networks
offer similar handset browsing and offer handset
modem use also which X-series prohibits.
Baylay, General Manager, Microsoft Online Services
Group UK, said: "Already, in the UK alone,
3 users are having one million Windows Live Messenger
conversations every day. These are exciting numbers
and mobile broadband will bring a rapid shift
in the delivery of internet services, and consumers'
usage of them. This announcement shows Microsoft
at the forefront of the mobile broadband revolution
and we will continue to roll out 'anywhere access'
to our leading web services."
was launched in the UK on December 1, 2006 and
in Hong Kong and Australia on January 18. X-Series
was launched in 3's other markets like Sweden,
Denmark, Italy and Austria in the first half of
3 Like Home (No Charge Roaming)
February 2007 3 introduced '3 Like Home': a service
that in theory allows subscribers to use any 3-branded
network with the exception of 3 Indonesia without
having to pay additional roaming charges, instead
paying the same amount for voice, data, and messaging
services as they would do on their home network.
This also allows users to use their free or inclusive
bundles and allowances while abroad. However,
pre-pay customers do not benefit fully, as they
can not yet use each 3 branded network for '3
launched its Australian services on April 15,
2003 in Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane, Adelaide,
Perth and the Gold Coast were activated in early
June 2003, with coverage later extended to Canberra
in 2005, and in 2006 many major regional centres
including Geelong, Frankston and Wollongong, bringing
3's 3G network to cover approximately 56% of Australia's
population. HSDPA was activated on the entire
3G footprint in March 2007 bringing peak speeds
of up to 3.6 Mbit/s on the network. In areas not
covered by 3's 3G network, customers roam on Telstra's
GSM/GPRS/EDGE network. This agreement allows 3
to offer coverage to up to 96% of the population.
3's total number of Australian subscribers reached
1,450,000 as of August 2007.
February 1, 2006, Hutchison's Australian CDMA
network, which operated under the Orange brand
name, was re-branded as 3 CDMA. The 3 CDMA network
is now closed as of August 9, 2006, with all customers
either moved over to 3's 3G network or to other
network providers. 3 CDMA customers were offered
special tariffs and incentives to continue as
customers on the 3G network.
has sponsored Big Brother Australia since 2005,
The Australian Cricket Team and Essendon Football
was the first network to offer 3G in Australia
and was criticised heavily in its early years,
with far greater faults than its 2G competitors.
There were problems with 3G handsets, network
coverage, and roaming issues. Australia's national
complaint body for telecommunications, the TIO
or Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman published
this in its 2004-2005 Annual Report, in relation
to Three's service in Australia.
“ Hutchison’s 3G (3) and CDMA (Orange)
networks accounted for a little over 60% of all
fault complaints. While the TIO is mindful of
the problems experienced with new technologies,
it was sufficiently concerned about the number
of complaints to again investigate these and related
customer service complaints as systemic issues.
The TIO considered that it did not have sufficient
technical expertise to reach a conclusive view
as to whether the number and nature of these faults,
which involved several handsets and more than
one manufacturer, indicated a network performance
problem and accordingly referred the matter to
TIO was unable to determine what the underlying
facts of these complaints were, it referred the
issues to ACMA. One year later, ACMA advised TIO
of the outcome:
“ ACMA also conducted a range of tests on
a newer model of one of the handsets complained
about. It advised that these tests were inconclusive,
although it noted that some difficulties could
be experienced when the caller roamed on to Telstra’s
concluded that the tests it conducted did not
lead it to conclude that Hutchison’s 3 network
was in breach of the Network Performance Code.
Austria started operations in May 2003. The company
promised to have 95% population coverage with
HSDPA end of 2007. Currently, 3's coverage appears
to be limited to 83% of the population. It lost
a lawsuit against Mobilkom Austria when it claimed
to have the largest 3G network in Austria, as
Mobilkom Austria has a coverage of 80% and the
difference between the two is too small to advertise
the coverage of its own 3G-network (UMTS/HSDPA)
it relies on national roaming on the network of
2G-market leader Mobilkom Austria.
Austria is the first in Austria to offer its customers
so called "HD Mobile TV" based on the
H.264 encoding standard, and won IIR telcon awards
for their eBay (2006) and X-Series Gold (2007)
May 2004, its affiliated 2G operator Orange re-branded
its services and changed its name to "3 Dualband",
referring to the GSM product, and "3 CDMA",
referring to the CDMA product.
has a licence for operation in the Republic of
Ireland using the access code 083. The service
was launched on July 26, 2005 as Ireland's 4th
mobile network operator behind Vodafone, O2 and
Meteor. 3's coverage is made up of two kinds of
service area: a rapidly expanding 3G video service
area which currently covers over 85% of the population
and a national voice and text service area (2G/2.5G)
provided by Vodafone Ireland that covers 99.5%
of the population. They initially offered a "bill
pay" service only but in May 16, 2006 they
announced the introduction of a pre-paid service
knows as 3Pay.
15 October 2006 3 Ireland announced they would
have twenty-eight "3Stores" opened by
the end of 2007 and 8 opened by the end of 2006.
The first opened on Patrick Street in Cork with
the flagship 3Store on Grafton St in Dublin, another
on the Northside of Dublin on Henry St, plus stores
in Galway, Waterford, Navan, Tullamore, Swords,
Limerick, Drogheda and Dundalk. 3's retail roll-out
involves a multi-million-euro investment and the
creation of two hundred new jobs.
Ireland currently has a market share of 1.6%,
which is approximately 77,000 subscribers.
Monday the 21st of May 2007, 3 launched a new
"10GB mobile broadband" package. Subscribers
who avail of this offer are told to expect speeds
of up to 3.6 Mbit/s, paying €19.99 a month.
The required USB modem or data card costs €129
on a 12 month contract.
Italy, 3 was the first mobile operator to offer
3G services (UMTS), launched in March 2003. As
of December 2007, 3 Italia had 8 million registered
customers, thus being the local leader in the
3G telecommunications market. 3 Italy is the largest
company in the 3-group measured in number of subscribers.
It has a roaming agreement with TIM which allows
its customers to get a 2G service when they move
out of 3G coverage. On February 22, 2006, 3 announced
the first launch of (HSDPA) technology in Italy,
with initial coverage of Rome. The HSDPA service,
which provides wireless broadband access with
speed up to 14.4 Megabit/s, has been initially
launched offering connection speeds up to 3.6
Megabit/s. The service has been called ADSM (as
a contraction for ADSL Mobile). On May 14, 2006
3 was the 1st in Italy to launch the Digital Mobile
TV with the DVB-H technology (70% of population);
this service is currently available with three
mobile models LG U900, LG U960 & Samsung SGH-P910.
Italy's slogan is: Meglio cambiare, no? (It's
better to change, isn't it?). The company's success
is also due to its commercial policies (it was
the 1st mobile operator which introduced mobile
phone with operator lock in Italy, which has prevented
customers from successfully moving to a different
network) and its advertising campaigns. From November
2006 to March 2007, 3 Italy's testimonial has
been Paris Hilton, followed by Luciana Littizzetto.
Power is an international business unit of 3 Italia.
As the first DVB-H operator worldwide, 3 Italia
is clearly established as a strategic leader in
the convergence of communication, information
and entertainment. It has now more than 720,000
DVB-H clients. 3 Power provides DVB-H and UMTS
services to operators and broadcasters worldwide
based on the knowledge and expertise acquired
by 3 Italia throughout the past years.
Possible sale of 3 Italia
press speculation from the UK newspaper, The Times,
claims that 3 Italia has sent out an information
memorandum in the hope of attracting potential
bidders. Hutchison tried to sell up to 25% of
3 Italia in an initial public offering (IPO) in
2005 that it hoped would value the operator at
around EUR10bn. However, the planned listing was
cancelled in early 2006 after valuations failed
to live up to Hutchison's expectations. It
is also speculated that this sale, if it goes
ahead could lead to further selling of other assets
of 3 Group, including 3(UK) and 3 Ireland.
3 service was launched in the UK on 3 March 2003
(3/3/3). After 32 months of operations, 3 acquired
3.2 million UMTS customers, more than the other
UK mobile operators combined. In 2003, 3 launched
the UK’s first video mobile network to bring
new services to the mobile media market. Given
3G was a new technology, 3 undertook one of the
fastest network rollouts in UK history and met
their licence regulatory requirements three years
ahead of schedule. 3 has a roaming agreement with
Orange which allows its customers to use their
handsets on the 2G network when they move out
of 3G coverage. Before January 2007, their partner
network was O2.
the end of 2005, 3 UK had nearly 4 million customers
on its network and was the largest 3G network
in the UK with more 3G subscribers than all the
other networks together. The UK offers both pre-
and post-pay (contract) services.
has used a number of different TV, print and radio
advertising campaigns since their launch. Their
pre-September 2007 slogan is "Welcome to
our Network". The new slogan is "Fresh
first retail stores (3Stores) opened at the same
time as the network launched, on Oxford Street
and High Street Kensington, both in London, and
at the Birmingham Mailbox. 3 has an agreement
with Superdrug, which stocks exclusively 3's mobile
phones. Many Superdrug stores also host a ThreePoint,
a separately-staffed, glass-walled kiosk. This
agreement came about after Superdrug was purchased
by Watson's, a large Asian retailer also owned
by Hutchison Whampoa. 3's handsets and contracts
are also sold by mobile telephony chains and independents
throughout the UK, as well as online retailers.
In October 2005, the second wave of 3Stores opened
in larger malls throughout the UK, such as the
Harlequin shopping centre in Watford, the Bluewater
shopping centre, and The Mall in Bristol Cribbs
Causeway. These stores are now 3's flagship high
street shops. On October 24, 2006, 3 announced
that it had purchased 95 high street shops from
O2, 274 The Link outlets, and 22 shops branded
under the O2 banner. 3 announced that these would
be rebranded as 3Stores "within weeks",
in time for the important Christmas season.
Friday 11th January 2007, 3 announced it will
be closing 107 of its concession stores, leaving
launched SeeMeTV at the end of 2005, allowing
its customers to submit their own video content
that other subscribers could watch. Users pay
a small micropayment (the price decided by the
video's creator) to watch these videos. The user
who created the videos will get paid 10% of the
amount of money that is paid by other users to
watch the video. This service does allow some
adult content, but this is protected by a PIN
to prevent minors accessing it. Users are paid
once they have made £10 using PayPal. It
is the most popular user-generated mobile service
created - since launch there have been over four
million downloads of videoclips and it is set
to be launched through MSN Spaces.
currently has the highest level of 3G coverage
in the UK and went live with HSDPA in September
2007. 3 currently has with full HSDPA coverage
in place in north of Manchester, Northern Ireland
and in London. Other UK locations will gradually
be HSDPA enabled, with completion in July 2008.
3UK subscribers can use their service on 3 networks
around the world for no extra charge (Ireland,
Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong and
Australia) with '3 Like Home.'
“ 3 UK and T-Mobile (UK) have signed an
agreement to combine their 3G access networks
in a ground-breaking collaboration that will lead
to almost complete population coverage for 3G
services across Britain by the end of 2008 with
significant fill in and improvement to dense urban
in-building coverage in 2009. As the world's largest
known active 3G network sharing agreement, this
will significantly increase both operators' 3G
network quality and coverage, accelerate the provision
of new high-speed mobile broadband services and
deliver substantial cost savings as well as environmental
combining their 3G access networks (the mobile
masts and infrastructure that connects to each
operator's separate core network) T-Mobile and
3 UK will create Europe's most extensive high-speed
downlink packet access (HSDPA) network. Today's
agreement offers customers comprehensive mobile
coverage in the first stage of joint development
in 2008 and further improvements to quality of
service in 2009. It furthers both companies' joint
commitment to deliver true mobile broadband internet
access in addition to reliable voice and text
masts and the 3G access networks are being combined,
each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G
network will not be shared. Both parties will
retain responsibility for the delivery of services
to their respective customers and use their own
mobile broadband and data services are set for
rapid growth as mobile progressively becomes the
individual's primary means of accessing the internet.
Nationwide 3G coverage is essential to meet this
growing demand. Blanket population coverage becomes
rapidly achievable if individual operators split
the investment required and share operating costs.
Integration of radio access networks will give
a further boost to the pace of development of
3G services, reduce the duplication of costs and
the proliferation of mobile masts and extend 3G
coverage for the first time to some of the more
sparsely populated areas of the country.
release by Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Whampoa owns direct majority interests in all
3-networks except 3 Hong Kong and 3 Indonesia.
These networks are majority-owned by the publicly
listed Hutchison Telecommunications International
Limited, in which Hutchison Whampoa has a 50.003
percent majority interest.
* Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited:
turn, Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia)
Limited's ownership is made up of:
* Hutchison Whampoa: 52.04%
* Public shareholders: 26.69%
* Telecom NZ: 10% (with an option for a further
* Leanrose Pty Limited: 11.27%
* Hutchison Whampoa: 100%
* Hutchison Whampoa: 60%
* Investor AB: 40%
* Hutchison Whampoa: 100%
* Hutchison Whampoa: 95.4%
* NHS Investments (San Paolo IMI): 3,9%
* Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Mediagroup: 0.5%
* Gemina: 0.2%
* 3G Mobile Investments (Franco Bernabè):
* 3 Power
* HTIL: 70.9%
* NTT DoCoMo: 24.1%
* NEC: 5%
* HTIL: 60%
* Charoen Pokphand: 40%
* Hutchison Whampoa: 100% (20% and 15% equity
interests were re-purchased from NTT DoCoMo and
KPN Mobile respectively in 2005 when both decided
to exit the UK venture shouldering heavy investment
Leaders in 3G.
Australia's first 3G mobile network in April 2003.
Today, over 1 million customers know first hand
just how good it is to be 3.
customers enjoy live Mobile TV, full length audio
and video music tracks, multiplayer games, Mobile
Broadband, face to face Videocalling and much
more in 3's Broadband Zones.
can also communicate with 96% of Australia's population
via talk, SMS, MMS, Instant Messenger and email.
And, thanks to our great Caps and plans, they
get great value.