Finnish state-owned mobile operator Sonera has said that it will launch a commercial third-generation (3G) service on 26 September.
It is the first European operator to give a solid date for the availability of 3G UMTS services.
Hutchison 3G and Vodafone have both announced the launch of such services in the UK in the second half of this year, but have been unable to give exact dates.
mm02's 3G trial on the Isle of Man last year suffered from a series of setbacks and was delayed until the latter half of last year.
Sonera will switch on the service in Finland's largest cities: Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Oulu.
The firm is reported to have successfully tested 3G network infrastructure supplied by Nokia.
Industry insiders are suggesting that GPRS, the so-called 2.5G technology, will provide the bulk of mobile data services for some time to come.
Both 2.5 and 3G technologies are currently held back by a lack of compelling applications.
While mobile operators spent vast amounts buying 3G licences, revenues from voice services continue to decline, and investors, vendors and users cannot agree on what makes a compelling application for the new technology.
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