Three weeks into 3G launch and it’s Hong Kong phooey

17 Feb 2004

Just three weeks after launching 3G services in its home market, Hutchison Whampoa is said to have shifted its focus to target lower-income users, raising industry concerns that the fledgling service is already struggling to sign up customers. 3, which launched in late January after months of delays, has introduced cheaper handsets and a lower tariff plan in a bid to woo customers from rival 2G operators. At launch the company offered a NEC616 handset for HKD4,380 (USD560), but is now offering a new NEC313 phone for just HKD999 and a new price plan of HKD183 per month, compared to HKD263 and HKD533 previously. Hutchison Whampoa refuses to disclose how many subscribers it has signed up, fuelling rumours that its service is experiencing a similar fate to its European operations which have failed to excite the market.

Hong Kong, CK Hutchison