Vodafone’s New Zealand subsidiary says it hopes to launch 3G services by 31 December and, in so doing, regain some of the ground lost to Telecom, which has already launched a rival CDMA2000 1xEV-DO service. Vodafone has around 55% of the country’s mobile market but has lost market share since Telecom launched its high speed service last November. Nonetheless it is upbeat about its prospects and anticipates extending its lead when it gets the service off the ground. The company believes it has a crucial marketing advantage: at launch it plans to offer ten different 3G handsets, compared with just one from Telecom. In response to the imminent threat, its rival is rapidly rolling out its service coverage to provincial centres in an effort to seize the initiative before Vodafone launches.