mmO2 holds off on 3G development


The telecommunications company that owns Digifone is postponing the development of its next generation 3G network services because of uncertainty about consumer demand.

mmO2, which demerged from British Telecom late last year and is made up of Digifone, BT Cellnet in Britain, Viag in Germany and Telfort in the Netherlands, says it will wait until it is sure about consumer demand.

The group has earmarked between £3 billion and £4 billion to develop the network. But it said further development depended on several factors, including the availability of handsets that could be used on both 3G networks and the current system, and demand for the service.

"In terms of capital expenditure, we will press the button when we have a clear [sense] that there is a clear demand and applications that people want to use," an mmO2 spokesman said.

In addition to its Irish licence, mmO2 has networks in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands.