Hutchison Whampoa has awarded a contract worth more than US$700 million to Motorola to supply third generation (3G) wireless devices in five key markets. The Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which acquired five 3G licences last year, said the United States handset manufacturer was its preferred supplier of 3G devices for Australia, Austria, Britain, Italy and Sweden. Hutchison expected delivery of the devices in the third quarter of next year, three months later than it originally planned to launch 3G services in Britain. 'This agreement ensures we will have customised devices to launch 3G service in 2002 in all markets, as planned,' said group managing director Canning Fok Kin-ning. 'Once there is a massive volume of devices in the market, 3G will become a reality.' Under the agreement, both companies will work together on 3G wireless communications solutions until at least the end of 2003. Motorola is the first device supplier the company has signed up for its 3G business. The handsets will be operated on GSM, GPRS and UMTS wireless networks and on second- and third-generation networks. Merrill Lynch reported that Hutchison, which hoped to sign up five million subscribers in Britain within five years, said it would offer significant handset subsidies in Europe.