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Two year contract trend could reverse by 2011

Operators will need to offer extra services to lock in savvy customers, say analysts. Aggressively priced smartphones and up front payments on hardware could see the trend towards two year contracts reversed by 2011. Analyst Gartner says it expects 12 month contracts to return to the norm in two years’ time, as consumers move away from Sim-only in improved economic conditions. And there will be more pressure on operators to provide reasonable prices on those 12 month contracts, even on heavily subsidized smartphones.