Telecoms provider mmO2 says it will adopt extra fast 3G network technology from next summer, although the ultra-high-speed network initially will be available only in the Isle of Man.
MmO2 is lagging behind its rivals in the race for the 3G market. Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile have already established their 3G laptop data cards in the market, and Orange this week launched its 3G handsets in the UK after a long delay.
MmO2 intends to recover lost ground by introducing a 3G technology that is much faster than the typical 384Kbps speed currently on offer.
By incorporating High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology and Internet Protocol Multimedia Services (IMS) in its 3G network in the Isle of Man, mmO2 will be able to deliver multimedia speeds of at least 3.6Mbps.
After trials on the Isle of Man, the technology will be rolled out on the UK mainland, but mmO2 has not confirmed the timing of the UK-wide deployment.
If mmO2’s technology is successful, the company will be the first to match the industry hype during the £22.5bn licence auction in 2000 when users were promised speeds of at least 2Mbps.
Dave Williams, mmO2 group chief technology officer, said, "With the first deployment in Europe of HSDPA and IMS together in a converged commercial network, we will gain invaluable insights into how to extend our multimedia services to enhance people's lives and develop applications that they are willing to pay for."