Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo has claimed that it sold a fifth of all of its third-generation (3G) handsets, 4000 units, on launch day.
Priced between £200 and £430, sales of the phones mean that the number of users of the fledgling 3G network in the Tokyo area have already nearly doubled.
Some 1600 of both video and standard handsets were sold, DoCoMo said on Monday, with the third, less featured data-only model selling around 800 units. The sales come in the face of a consumer slump, poor trial feedback and high prices.
Separately, one of two French 3G licence holders backed down on threats to withhold payment.
Rebel French 3G operator SFR coughed up the necessary £383m (Eu619m) first instalment of its £3.06bn (Eu4.95bn) 3G licence fee, but continued to complain that both overall licence costs and the payment schedule should be revised because of the slumping telecoms market.
SFR is still threatening to block payments if it cannot reach a revised agreement by the end of the year with the French government, which said yesterday that no deal had been struck about changing terms. Fellow 3G licence holder and partly state-owned France Telecom paid up on time.
Two of the four French licences are still up for grabs after operators balked at the asking price.
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