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Palm, Psion say 3G price tag is no worry

High licence fees won’t hurt consumers

Affordable wireless services are coming to the consumer over third-generation (3G) devices, regardless of the high prices being paid for 3G mobile spectrum licences, according to chief executive officers of both U.S.-based Palm and its U.K. competitor, Psion.

In a market that is split three ways between technology suppliers, network operators and the providers of content and transaction services, the greatest value will lie in the content and transaction arena, Psion founder and chairman David Potter told attendees of The Wall Street Journal Europe's CEO Summit on Converging Technologies here in London yesterday.

"I have to agree with David; the most important part is the content," Palm CEO Carl Yankowski said. And in order to take advantage of selling that content, Palm is "diversifying into wireless. The goal is to try and take these applications (that are already on the Palm) and meld them into devices" with wireless services, he said.

Yankowski asserted that he didn't believe the recent U.K. auction of five 3G licences would wind up becoming a hidden tax on the consumer, or even a constraint on competition. The auction netted the U.K. government £22.48 billion pounds.

"I don't think it will be a problem. If we can provide interesting and compelling content, (the cost of the licences) will be a drop in the bucket," he said.

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