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Mobile

Telstra's June iPhone launch points to 3G

Telstra will be the third Australian mobile provider to sell the iPhone in Australia, fuelling speculation of the imminent launch of a 3G iPhone.

Will the iPhone be a Next G handset?

Telstra will be the third mobile provider to sell the iPhone in Australia starting from the end of June, a source has confirmed to CNET.com.au.

The news that Telstra will carry the Apple handset comes in light of CNET.com.au's recent report that Optus also intends to sell the iPhone, and Vodafone's official announcement that it will be bringing the handset to 10 new markets.

Telstra's decision to offer the iPhone points to an imminent release of a highly-anticipated 3G model.

While there has been no official confirmation from Apple of a 3G iPhone, Telstra's licensing of the handset strongly suggests the company intends to release a multi-frequency (850/2100MHz) HSDPA-capable iPhone to work with both Optus and Vodafone's 3G networks, as well as Telstra's Next G network.

In the event a multi-frequency 3G handset is not released, Telstra will have the option of either selling the first generation of the iPhone (compatible with the company's EDGE network), or offering the same 2100MHz handset as Optus and Vodafone. While Telstra also provides a 2100MHz service, the network footprint is considerably smaller than Telstra's Next G network which Telstra claims covers 98 percent of Australia's population.

A spokesperson for Telstra declined to comment, however, CNET.com.au understands that the deal will be announced before the end of the month.