Venezuelan GSM mobile operator Digitel expects to announce the commercial launch of 3G services by the end of the first quarter of this year, reports BNamericas, quoting its commercial vice president Luis Perez, who was speaking to local press. The VP also said that the cellco expected to add 1.5 million new mobile lines during 2009 to reach a total of around 7.5 million, and expected the launch of 3G to play a significant part in achieving this aim. Subscribers in greater Caracas alone are expected to total 2.8 million by year-end, with a total of 1.3 million customers in the Centro region and a further one million in the Centro Llanos region also predicted. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Venezuela’s largest cellco by subscribers, state-run Movilnet, has tentatively scheduled the rollout of 3G UMTS services for late 2009, following its limited rollout of a GSM-based network in December 2008, whilst second-place operator Movistar Venezuela, owned by Spain’s Telefonica, launched 3G/3.5G W-CDMA/HSDPA services earlier in the same month. Both Movilnet and Movistar have reported high levels of demand for their 3G EV-DO-based data/internet services, both of which were launched in 2005.