Vodafone is introducing new versions of its connection cards to link laptops to corporate intranets and the internet over new high-speed wireless networks.
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Leading the rollout is the German subsidiary Vodafone D2, which has announced the availability of two new Vodafone Mobile Connect Cards.
"We're rolling out the new cards ahead of the other Vodafone subsidiaries because we've been heavily involved in their development," said Michael Paetsch, marketing director at Vodafone D2. "The group is planning a Europe-wide roll-out over the next few weeks."
While one card offers subscribers online access via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), the other provides online connectivity via GPRS or wireless LAN (WLAN).
Each card contains software that lets users choose between access to their company intranet with the necessary security or access to the public Internet for browsing and e-mail. The later possibility wasn't available in an earlier version of the connection cards, launched last year. "The cards are designed for plug-and-play use," Paetsch said. "Users can easily select which sort of access they want and connect."
Each card costs €199 (£136), in addition to a mobile data service contract, which ranges in price between €9.95 (£7) and €39.95 (£27), depending on data volume, the company said.
The GPRS-based card offers speeds up to 53K bps (bits per second), while the WLAN-enabled card, based on the 802.11b standard, provides speeds up to 11M bps, according to Paetsch.
Vodafone also plans to introduce a card that will offer access to GPRS, WLAN and new 3G (third-generation) broadband mobile networks, it said. The company, however, provided no details about availability of the new card.