Now their gluing the SIM cards in: "This has got to be the dummest thing I have seen from a carrier in a long time. Apparently now in the UK, 3 is going to start gluing the SIM cards into their pre-paid phones in an effort to thwart resellers who are buying the discounted phones and selling them overseas for profit. The plan is to pot the SIM cards into the pre-paid phone with epoxy. Gotta wonder who the rocket scientist who came up with this solution is. Maybe it's time to stop subsidizing phones; At least for pre-paid."

Why is this a bad thing? 3 suffer from a great deal of fraud - folks exporting PAYG phones which they subsidise and reselling them. If 3 are going to offer cut-price 3G handsets it doesn't seem unreasonable to me for purchasers to be locked to their network.

As for stopping subsidies: experiences elsewhere (e.g. Italy) show that lack of subsidies doesn't affect purchasing behaviour, but it'll be a brave operator in the UK 5-way mobile telco scrummage to take the plunge and do it first. Quite unlikely to be 3, too: they need to grow their customer-base still, so anything which dissuades customers from joining their network would be ruled out, I'd imagine.