3G (third generation) network operations will not be initiated in Finland at the beginning of next year as planned, Finnish Telecommunications Administration Center said in a report, presented to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) networks are to be rolled out on schedule, but a predicted shortage of UMTS phones will cause the delay, the report said.

Finland granted four 3G networking licenses two years ago. Companies in Europe have spent billions of dollars in a bidding frenzy for 3G licenses that has caused delays in network constructions. Finland granted all four licenses for free.

In Finland, UMTS network operations will start in the most populated areas.

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