Vodafone investing in 3G

Vodafone Australia will invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years, to offer third-generation (3G) based services by 2005, according to an announcement on Thursday.

Grahame Maher, Vodafone Australia's managing director, said discussions are underway with a number of carriers regarding a partnership arrangement, "however, if this isn't viable, we have the required finance in place to go it alone. We expect to be in a position to announce our plans in the next few months".

Vodafone New Zealand also announced a significant investment in a 3G network, with the service due to be rolled out progressively over the next 18 months, initially focusing on main urban and provincial centres.

Maher said Vodafone Australia and Vodafone New Zealand are in the process of joint vendor selection for their 3G networks.

Vodafone's 3G service will work in conjunction with its existing GSM and GPRS networks, and will be phased in over time.

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