updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2008
Telefonica iPhone launch
Spanish carrier Telefonica has large plans for the debut of the iPhone 3G, sources say. At the heart of this is Telefonica's building in the Gran Via shopping district of Madrid, which is having its first floor completely redone in time for July 11th, the official release date of the 3G in 22 countries. Window displays have been emptied out, and installed video signage currently remains non-functional. Both Apple and Telefonica are said to want a "media extravaganza" around the world in advance of the 3G's availability.
Coinciding with this will be the launch of new Telefonica hotspots, each of which will have a custom webpage for logging in with a Telefonica iPhone number. After a single login, a hotspot should become instantly accessible whenever the iPhone is in range.
Telefonica and other foreign carriers are, however, said to be upset with Apple's insistence on a flat data rate, as they have traditionally profited from a per-kilobit pricing scheme. Large data packages may also encourage intense use, potentially creating network congestion. Telefonica has not formally announced any iPhone prices or plans.