Hong Kong mobile phone operator CSL plans to launch third generation services in just a handful of key urban districts rather than offer universal coverage across the SAR. Defying conventional wisdom that a successful launch required blanket coverage, CSL plans a patchwork offering focusing on a few key areas when it rolls out services in the third quarter of next year, according to chief executive Hubert Ng Ching-wah. Hong Kong's most profitable operator identified Central and the Airport district as areas it would launch high speed data services, and the dense shopping areas of Causeway Bay and Mong Kok as places where it could capture most traffic. Mr Ng claimed its partial 3G network would work if pitched at an affordable price. 'Not every one will be 3G users, we will invest where the demand is,' he said on the sidelines of the International Telecommunications Union conference. He said the main challenge for operators was to solve the call 'handover' problem allowing traditional voice network calls to be routed on to 3G networks. Playing down the migration from intermediate wireless data standards he said: 'At the moment, there is not much difference between 2.5G and 3G. People just use it to browse the Internet and take pictures. We still don't know what 3G can be used for.' He said operators would continue to rely on voice traffic as a major revenue source. CSL had no listing plans as its parent, Telstra, did not want to dilute its stake and the firm did not require additional finance. Separately, Bruce Hicks, group managing director of Sunday Communications, said it was unlikely to enter the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business again after its failed joint-venture with Shell. 'In order to be a successful differentiator, you need to be specialised. If you are specialised, you'll have a higher cost-base. Then you are not competitive. In today's climate, particularly in a market like Hong Kong which is saturated that's a very difficult thing to do,' Mr Hicks said. Despite the set-back Mr Hicks said the firm was 'more than happy to have discussion with anybody who has a MVNO concept'. There are six MVNO licence holders in Hong Kong - Trident Telecom Ventures, China Motion Telecom, China Unicom International, i100 and China-Hong Kong Telecom and Shell Mobile. Shell Mobile, a pilot project by Shell Hong Kong and Sunday aiming to provide customised information for motorists in Hong Kong via short messaging service, was shut down in September after a six-month operation because of a lower-than-expected adoption rate. Hong Kong-listed i100 launched its 2.5G mobile network last month, targeting young market with its content-focused services.