The much vaunted multimedia elements of third generation (3G) telephony will be missing from Vodafone’s European networks when they launch in 2002.

The mobile telecoms titan – the world’s largest – has been warning City of London analysts in recent days that its 3G technology is currently too tardy and too costly to deliver live video, music clips and other multimedia services to subscribers. Nor can Vodafone guarantee to provide mobile internet access at data speeds that meet globally-agreed 3G standards.

To compound its i-gnominy, the group’s initial 3G service will fail even to comply with the minimum speed specified in 2000 by the UK government when British network licences went up for grabs.

Vodafone holds twelve 3G licences across Europe, for which it spend around £13 billion ($14.5bn).

News source: Financial Times