3 Italia has introduced a free handset deal for customers who agree to sign a minimum usage contract. In a move aimed at consolidating its position prior to TIM and Vodafone’s launch of 3G services, 3 hopes the deal will help boost its customer base to a million by March 2004. Under the terms of the deal clients will pay a EUR30 charge if they do not spent that amount on calls and services in a month. To avoid the charge customers will also have to receive at least 60 minutes of voice and data calls. Customers will have to wait until October to recieve their free phones, however, as a result of delays in shipments from Motorola and NEC.