The UK consumer magazine Which? has taken the unusual step of warning buyers to steer clear of next-generation 3G mobile phones this Christmas, saying that present coverage levels for the new service are too limited to justify the outlay on a new phone. In a move which has angered the country’s UMTS operators, the watchdog has urged consumers to stick with 2G alternatives until service coverage levels improve. Although 3’s network covers 80% of the population, coverage is still patchy and large tracts of rural England are untouched. Vodafone, which launched a commercial service last month, can only muster a service coverage of 60% of the population. However, the UMTS licensees have responded angrily and accused the watchdog of being out of touch.