According to an analysys the amount of 3G users will rise from about 600,000 at the end of 2003 to 27 million users by the end of 2005. This year will be the year of the European 3G launches, but it won't be the year of 3G take up.
At this moment only a few providers in Europe are offering 3G, almost exclusively based on the W-CDMA upgrade of GSM networks.
Hutchison's 3 networks in countries such as Italy, Sweden and the UK hogged the headlines for some time but now larger operators are launching.
Vodafone has chosen to launch 3G with a data-card offering - a service still not offered by 3 - and other major players such as Orange, TIM and T-Mobile have promised 3G handsets in time for the crucial last quarter of the year.
It's expected that by 2009 about 70 per cent of all Western European mobile phone users will have a 3G-enabled phone.
As users transition to the higher-speed networks, there is also thought to be a role for GPRS to play, with the research finding revenues will peak at €63bn in 2007 before dropping back as 3G becomes more common.