3 website

3 is a brand used for nine mobile telecommunications networks in Europe, Asia and Australia. Hutchison Whampoa holds a direct or indirect, majority or minority interest in all of them. All 3-branded networks emphasize their offering of "mobile multimedia" and provide 3G technology (WCDMA, some also run 2G networks). 3 is present in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and Macau, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Hutchison Whampoa also holds a 3G-license in Israel which operates under the brand Orange, and in Norway which is not operational yet. As of 22nd August 2007, registered 3 customers worldwide numbered almost 15.9 million.

3 aggressively markets new handsets and services and launches new products regularly, lately focussing on Mobile TV and Skype services. As with other 3G networks around the world, 3 allows video calling and fast internet access from most of its handsets.

Internet access

Like other GPRS content (T-Zones, O2 Active) 3's portal is 'free to browse' for some content in most 3 countries including UK and Austria in most price plans; the user pays a fixed price for each video, text or application downloaded.

Besides that, 3 UK and also 3 Ireland initially made the decision to block direct Internet access from handsets, while 3 Austria allowed access to the internet since the beginning.

In 2004, 3 released a PC card 3G Data Card ("NetConnect Card") for Windows-based laptops which allows Internet access through 3's network directly from the computer, accompanied by a range of data and business tariffs. Later, more cards and USB modems for HSDPA were introduced.

Internet access restrictions in the UK

The result of the decision in the UK to block direct Internet access from the handsets was that, unlike the UK's other leading networks, arbitrary web and email servers could not be accessed from a handset on their network. Instead, they provided their own web-based content through the handset's online portal, offering popular video and text content, ranging from video news bulletins to online dating systems. This system became known, somewhat unaffectionately, as the "walled garden" by many of 3 UK's power users, frustrated at not being able to access the sites they wanted.

This strict policy in the UK was relaxed in September 2005, and customers were permitted restricted Internet access to a limited selection of third-party websites; those that 3 tested and deemed suitable and usable. It was also possible for customers to submit sites for consideration. Customers who required full Internet access, or who wanted to use their handsets as a modem, were able to purchase fixed amounts of data transfer for a fee.

In the latter half of 2006, 3 UK decided to relax their policy on Internet access further by providing 30 MB web access to new customers free of charge. It's worth noting that this only allows access to sites using port 80, thus access to external email accounts, such as POP3 and IMAP4 mailboxes, and access to services which don't use port 80, is not allowed with the inclusive data. 3's UK Internet access only includes handset browsing and modem use is charged separately.

The new policy follows the example of the world's largest mobile network provider Vodafone and is inspiring a new industry ready to start developing solutions for the mobile web. An example are services such as Blitzplanet or 10pText.co.uk, both services are accessible to 3 customers who want to continue using their phone for familiar applications like text or picture messaging but with the added twist of using the far cheaper Internet option to do so.


Three Skypephone

In November 2007, 3 started to sell the Skypephone, which was developed together with Skype and combines the functionality of a UMTS handset with free voice calls and instant messages from Skype.

X-Series from 3

Main article: X-Series

On 16 November 2006, Hutchison Whampoa Limited announced the global launch of the X-Series from 3 with a webcast presentation live from London which featured leaders and managers from their major partners Skype, Sling Media, Yahoo!, Nokia, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Orb and Sony Ericsson.

"The X-Series from 3 marks 3's beginning of the Internet via UMTS, and heralds a new way of doing business for mobile network operators [...] Customers will be able to make unlimited calls from their mobile using Skype to 'on-line' Skype users, watch their home television via their mobile using Sling, if they buy additional hardware(Slingbox), access their home PC remotely using Orb and have access to the best of internet and messaging services from Yahoo!, Windows Live Messenger and Google, depending on handset capability" Other networks offer similar handset browsing and offer handset modem use also which X-series prohibits.

Sharon Baylay, General Manager, Microsoft Online Services Group UK, said: "Already, in the UK alone, 3 users are having one million Windows Live Messenger conversations every day. These are exciting numbers and mobile broadband will bring a rapid shift in the delivery of internet services, and consumers' usage of them. This announcement shows Microsoft at the forefront of the mobile broadband revolution and we will continue to roll out 'anywhere access' to our leading web services."

X-Series was launched in the UK on December 1, 2006 and in Hong Kong and Australia on January 18. X-Series was launched in 3's other markets like Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Austria in the first half of 2007.

3 Like Home (No Charge Roaming)

In February 2007 3 introduced '3 Like Home': a service that in theory allows subscribers to use any 3-branded network with the exception of 3 Indonesia without having to pay additional roaming charges, instead paying the same amount for voice, data, and messaging services as they would do on their home network. This also allows users to use their free or inclusive bundles and allowances while abroad. However, pre-pay customers do not benefit fully, as they can not yet use each 3 branded network for '3 Like Home'.

3 worldwide


3 launched its Australian services on April 15, 2003 in Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast were activated in early June 2003, with coverage later extended to Canberra in 2005, and in 2006 many major regional centres including Geelong, Frankston and Wollongong, bringing 3's 3G network to cover approximately 56% of Australia's population. HSDPA was activated on the entire 3G footprint in March 2007 bringing peak speeds of up to 3.6 Mbit/s on the network. In areas not covered by 3's 3G network, customers roam on Telstra's GSM/GPRS/EDGE network. This agreement allows 3 to offer coverage to up to 96% of the population. 3's total number of Australian subscribers reached 1,450,000 as of August 2007.

On February 1, 2006, Hutchison's Australian CDMA network, which operated under the Orange brand name, was re-branded as 3 CDMA. The 3 CDMA network is now closed as of August 9, 2006, with all customers either moved over to 3's 3G network or to other network providers. 3 CDMA customers were offered special tariffs and incentives to continue as customers on the 3G network.

3 has sponsored Big Brother Australia since 2005, The Australian Cricket Team and Essendon Football Club.


Three was the first network to offer 3G in Australia and was criticised heavily in its early years, with far greater faults than its 2G competitors. There were problems with 3G handsets, network coverage, and roaming issues. Australia's national complaint body for telecommunications, the TIO or Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman published this in its 2004-2005 Annual Report, in relation to Three's service in Australia.
“ Hutchison’s 3G (3) and CDMA (Orange) networks accounted for a little over 60% of all fault complaints. While the TIO is mindful of the problems experienced with new technologies, it was sufficiently concerned about the number of complaints to again investigate these and related customer service complaints as systemic issues. The TIO considered that it did not have sufficient technical expertise to reach a conclusive view as to whether the number and nature of these faults, which involved several handsets and more than one manufacturer, indicated a network performance problem and accordingly referred the matter to ACMA. ”

As TIO was unable to determine what the underlying facts of these complaints were, it referred the issues to ACMA. One year later, ACMA advised TIO of the outcome:
“ ACMA also conducted a range of tests on a newer model of one of the handsets complained about. It advised that these tests were inconclusive, although it noted that some difficulties could be experienced when the caller roamed on to Telstra’s 2G network.

ACMA concluded that the tests it conducted did not lead it to conclude that Hutchison’s 3 network was in breach of the Network Performance Code.


3 Austria started operations in May 2003. The company promised to have 95% population coverage with HSDPA end of 2007. Currently, 3's coverage appears to be limited to 83% of the population. It lost a lawsuit against Mobilkom Austria when it claimed to have the largest 3G network in Austria, as Mobilkom Austria has a coverage of 80% and the difference between the two is too small to advertise on it.

Outside the coverage of its own 3G-network (UMTS/HSDPA) it relies on national roaming on the network of 2G-market leader Mobilkom Austria.

3 Austria is the first in Austria to offer its customers so called "HD Mobile TV" based on the H.264 encoding standard, and won IIR telcon awards for their eBay (2006) and X-Series Gold (2007)[6] offerings.

Hong Kong

In May 2004, its affiliated 2G operator Orange re-branded its services and changed its name to "3 Dualband", referring to the GSM product, and "3 CDMA", referring to the CDMA product.


3 has a licence for operation in the Republic of Ireland using the access code 083. The service was launched on July 26, 2005 as Ireland's 4th mobile network operator behind Vodafone, O2 and Meteor. 3's coverage is made up of two kinds of service area: a rapidly expanding 3G video service area which currently covers over 85% of the population and a national voice and text service area (2G/2.5G) provided by Vodafone Ireland that covers 99.5% of the population. They initially offered a "bill pay" service only but in May 16, 2006 they announced the introduction of a pre-paid service knows as 3Pay.

On 15 October 2006 3 Ireland announced they would have twenty-eight "3Stores" opened by the end of 2007 and 8 opened by the end of 2006. The first opened on Patrick Street in Cork with the flagship 3Store on Grafton St in Dublin, another on the Northside of Dublin on Henry St, plus stores in Galway, Waterford, Navan, Tullamore, Swords, Limerick, Drogheda and Dundalk. 3's retail roll-out involves a multi-million-euro investment and the creation of two hundred new jobs.

3 Ireland currently has a market share of 1.6%, which is approximately 77,000 subscribers.

On Monday the 21st of May 2007, 3 launched a new "10GB mobile broadband" package. Subscribers who avail of this offer are told to expect speeds of up to 3.6 Mbit/s, paying €19.99 a month. The required USB modem or data card costs €129 on a 12 month contract.


In Italy, 3 was the first mobile operator to offer 3G services (UMTS), launched in March 2003. As of December 2007, 3 Italia had 8 million registered customers, thus being the local leader in the 3G telecommunications market. 3 Italy is the largest company in the 3-group measured in number of subscribers. It has a roaming agreement with TIM which allows its customers to get a 2G service when they move out of 3G coverage. On February 22, 2006, 3 announced the first launch of (HSDPA) technology in Italy, with initial coverage of Rome. The HSDPA service, which provides wireless broadband access with speed up to 14.4 Megabit/s, has been initially launched offering connection speeds up to 3.6 Megabit/s. The service has been called ADSM (as a contraction for ADSL Mobile). On May 14, 2006 3 was the 1st in Italy to launch the Digital Mobile TV with the DVB-H technology (70% of population); this service is currently available with three mobile models LG U900, LG U960 & Samsung SGH-P910.

3 Italy's slogan is: Meglio cambiare, no? (It's better to change, isn't it?). The company's success is also due to its commercial policies (it was the 1st mobile operator which introduced mobile phone with operator lock in Italy, which has prevented customers from successfully moving to a different network) and its advertising campaigns. From November 2006 to March 2007, 3 Italy's testimonial has been Paris Hilton, followed by Luciana Littizzetto.

3 Power

3 Power is an international business unit of 3 Italia. As the first DVB-H operator worldwide, 3 Italia is clearly established as a strategic leader in the convergence of communication, information and entertainment. It has now more than 720,000 DVB-H clients. 3 Power provides DVB-H and UMTS services to operators and broadcasters worldwide based on the knowledge and expertise acquired by 3 Italia throughout the past years.

Possible sale of 3 Italia

Recent press speculation from the UK newspaper, The Times, claims that 3 Italia has sent out an information memorandum in the hope of attracting potential bidders. Hutchison tried to sell up to 25% of 3 Italia in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2005 that it hoped would value the operator at around EUR10bn. However, the planned listing was cancelled in early 2006 after valuations failed to live up to Hutchison's expectations.[7] It is also speculated that this sale, if it goes ahead could lead to further selling of other assets of 3 Group, including 3(UK) and 3 Ireland.

United Kingdom

The 3 service was launched in the UK on 3 March 2003 (3/3/3). After 32 months of operations, 3 acquired 3.2 million UMTS customers, more than the other UK mobile operators combined. In 2003, 3 launched the UK’s first video mobile network to bring new services to the mobile media market. Given 3G was a new technology, 3 undertook one of the fastest network rollouts in UK history and met their licence regulatory requirements three years ahead of schedule. 3 has a roaming agreement with Orange which allows its customers to use their handsets on the 2G network when they move out of 3G coverage. Before January 2007, their partner network was O2.

At the end of 2005, 3 UK had nearly 4 million customers on its network and was the largest 3G network in the UK with more 3G subscribers than all the other networks together. The UK offers both pre- and post-pay (contract) services.

3 has used a number of different TV, print and radio advertising campaigns since their launch. Their pre-September 2007 slogan is "Welcome to our Network". The new slogan is "Fresh on 3"

3's first retail stores (3Stores) opened at the same time as the network launched, on Oxford Street and High Street Kensington, both in London, and at the Birmingham Mailbox. 3 has an agreement with Superdrug, which stocks exclusively 3's mobile phones. Many Superdrug stores also host a ThreePoint, a separately-staffed, glass-walled kiosk. This agreement came about after Superdrug was purchased by Watson's, a large Asian retailer also owned by Hutchison Whampoa. 3's handsets and contracts are also sold by mobile telephony chains and independents throughout the UK, as well as online retailers. In October 2005, the second wave of 3Stores opened in larger malls throughout the UK, such as the Harlequin shopping centre in Watford, the Bluewater shopping centre, and The Mall in Bristol Cribbs Causeway. These stores are now 3's flagship high street shops. On October 24, 2006, 3 announced that it had purchased 95 high street shops from O2, 274 The Link outlets, and 22 shops branded under the O2 banner. 3 announced that these would be rebranded as 3Stores "within weeks", in time for the important Christmas season.

On Friday 11th January 2007, 3 announced it will be closing 107 of its concession stores, leaving only 20.

3 launched SeeMeTV at the end of 2005, allowing its customers to submit their own video content that other subscribers could watch. Users pay a small micropayment (the price decided by the video's creator) to watch these videos. The user who created the videos will get paid 10% of the amount of money that is paid by other users to watch the video. This service does allow some adult content, but this is protected by a PIN to prevent minors accessing it. Users are paid once they have made £10 using PayPal. It is the most popular user-generated mobile service created - since launch there have been over four million downloads of videoclips and it is set to be launched through MSN Spaces.

3 currently has the highest level of 3G coverage in the UK and went live with HSDPA in September 2007. 3 currently has with full HSDPA coverage in place in north of Manchester, Northern Ireland and in London. Other UK locations will gradually be HSDPA enabled, with completion in July 2008. 3UK subscribers can use their service on 3 networks around the world for no extra charge (Ireland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong and Australia) with '3 Like Home.'
“ 3 UK and T-Mobile (UK) have signed an agreement to combine their 3G access networks in a ground-breaking collaboration that will lead to almost complete population coverage for 3G services across Britain by the end of 2008 with significant fill in and improvement to dense urban in-building coverage in 2009. As the world's largest known active 3G network sharing agreement, this will significantly increase both operators' 3G network quality and coverage, accelerate the provision of new high-speed mobile broadband services and deliver substantial cost savings as well as environmental benefits.

By combining their 3G access networks (the mobile masts and infrastructure that connects to each operator's separate core network) T-Mobile and 3 UK will create Europe's most extensive high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) network. Today's agreement offers customers comprehensive mobile coverage in the first stage of joint development in 2008 and further improvements to quality of service in 2009. It furthers both companies' joint commitment to deliver true mobile broadband internet access in addition to reliable voice and text services.

Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own frequency spectrum.

High-speed mobile broadband and data services are set for rapid growth as mobile progressively becomes the individual's primary means of accessing the internet. Nationwide 3G coverage is essential to meet this growing demand. Blanket population coverage becomes rapidly achievable if individual operators split the investment required and share operating costs. Integration of radio access networks will give a further boost to the pace of development of 3G services, reduce the duplication of costs and the proliferation of mobile masts and extend 3G coverage for the first time to some of the more sparsely populated areas of the country.

—Press release by Hutchison Whampoa Limited


Hutchison Whampoa owns direct majority interests in all 3-networks except 3 Hong Kong and 3 Indonesia. These networks are majority-owned by the publicly listed Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited, in which Hutchison Whampoa has a 50.003 percent majority interest.


* Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited: 100%[10]

In turn, Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited's ownership is made up of:

* Hutchison Whampoa: 52.04%
* Public shareholders: 26.69%
* Telecom NZ: 10% (with an option for a further 9.94%)
* Leanrose Pty Limited: 11.27%


* Hutchison Whampoa: 100%

Denmark, Sweden

* Hutchison Whampoa: 60%
* Investor AB: 40%


* Hutchison Whampoa: 100%


* Hutchison Whampoa: 95.4%
* NHS Investments (San Paolo IMI): 3,9%
* Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Mediagroup: 0.5%
* Gemina: 0.2%
* 3G Mobile Investments (Franco Bernabè): 0.0002%
* 3 Power

Hong Kong, Macau

* HTIL: 70.9%
* NTT DoCoMo: 24.1%
* NEC: 5%


* HTIL: 60%
* Charoen Pokphand: 40%

United Kingdom

* Hutchison Whampoa: 100% (20% and 15% equity interests were re-purchased from NTT DoCoMo and KPN Mobile respectively in 2005 when both decided to exit the UK venture shouldering heavy investment losses). (Credit: Wikipedia).



3 in Australia

Leaders in 3G.

3 launched Australia's first 3G mobile network in April 2003. Today, over 1 million customers know first hand just how good it is to be 3.

Our customers enjoy live Mobile TV, full length audio and video music tracks, multiplayer games, Mobile Broadband, face to face Videocalling and much more in 3's Broadband Zones.

3 customers can also communicate with 96% of Australia's population via talk, SMS, MMS, Instant Messenger and email. And, thanks to our great Caps and plans, they get great value.




Mobile Telephony

Mobile Television