Hutchison Whampoa’s start-up Irish cellco ‘3’ has selected the ‘083’ dialling prefix for its forthcoming third-generation mobile service, due to be rolled out in the summer. Hutch has also confirmed that handsets from three manufacturers – Motorola, LG and NEC – will be available from launch. 3 recently tied up an agreement with Vodafone to allow its customers to roam on its rival’s 2G network where 3G coverage is not available, though it has yet to negotiate SMS and MMS interconnection deals. Hutch has reportedly invested upwards of EUR200 million in its Irish infrastructure, which currently covers around half of the population. Whilst some reports have suggested that 3 will not launch commercially until November, the consensus has it that the operator will have services available by September at the latest.
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