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O2 gets in first with super-fast launch

Tash Shifrin

Mobile network operator O2 looks set to win the race to launch Europe’s first commercial super-fast network using High-Speed Download Packet Access (HSDPA) technology.

O2 will launch its high-speed 3G network in the Isle of Man on 1 November, beating rivals Vodafone and T-Mobile, which have announced plans to introduce the new technology next year.

The Isle of Man network is the first stage in a roll-out across the O2 group in the UK, Ireland and Germany.

The HSDPA network, based on technology from Lucent Technologies, will initially offer data speeds of 1.3Mbps, allowing users to send a 5Mbyte video clip in under 30 seconds. The network is expected to be able to provide maximum peak data speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps in future.

Applications and services will initially be targeted at corporate customers of O2 subsidiary Manx Telecom, with later developments aimed at the consumer market.

Chris Hall, Manx Telecom managing director, said, “Working with Lucent Technologies, we will have a very early deployment of HSDPA, allowing us to gain the knowledge and expertise in high-speed mobile data services which can be rolled out across the O2 Group, including the UK, Germany and Ireland.”


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