Belgium delays 3G services rollout

The Belgian government has postponed the launch of third generation mobile phone services by a year because neither the network nor the handsets are ready yet, Regine Van Tomme, a spokeswoman for telecom minister Rik Daems said Monday.

The government was planning to launch the new service in September, but the three companies with Belgian 3G mobile phone licenses requested more time late last month.

"The 3G network isn't there yet, the machines aren't ready, so the minister agreed to a delay," said Van Tomme.

Holding licenses to operate the services are France Telecom SA's Belgian mobile division Mobistar, the former state monopoly Belgacom SA and Vodafone Group PLC's mobile phone company Proximus, and Dutch operator KPN Orange's Belgian unit of the same name. Together they spent

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