Optus refutes reports of 3G roll-out delay

Optus has refuted suggestions that the commercial roll-out of its third generation mobile network will be delayed. Although it was widely understood that the Optus 3G network roll-out was to take place in November 2002, spokeswoman Louise Ingram says the company has never specified or announced a date and won't make a formal announcement until it's appropriate to do so.

Optus is remaining non-committal when it comes to the commercial launch of its 3G network but admits that it will be timed to the maturation of other technologies, including mobile phones. Ms Ingram said that Optus must ensure that there are mobile handsets carrying a broad range of brand names and price tags available to consumers. Antony Wilson from Nokia – which is supplying infrastructure for Optus's 3G network – agrees that mobile phones aren't ready now, but said that Nokia's handsets are on track for a November 2002 release.

Sony-Ericsson will have trial versions of its 3G handsets available before the end of this year but doesn't expect a full commercial ramp-up until 2003.

Optus is predicting that mobile phone-based data services will account for 25 per cent of its total revenues by 2005 and increase to 50 per cent by 2010.