Vodafone is to start customer trials of its HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) wireless network next month, as it introduces faster services than 3G.
From April, Vodafone says 100 business users will test HSDPA-enabled Mobile Connect laptop data cards across central and greater London. This trial follows limited Vodafone HSDPA tests in the area around its Newbury, Berkshire headquarters.
Tim Miles, Vodafone UK chief executive officer, said, “We have seen high demand for 3G since its launch two years ago and our customers are hungry for the improvements that HSDPA will deliver.”
Vodafone plans to commercially launch HSDPA to customers from mid-2006, mainly to users in the south east. The mobile operator promises that most users in the UK’s major towns and cities will have HSDPA at their disposal by the end of the year.
HSDPA is roughly four times faster than current 384kbps 3G speeds, and the technology allows a greater number of users in each area to get maximum speeds without impacting on each other’s data access performance.
HSDPA also offers lower latency, meaning fewer delays to users when downloading attachments, and accessing demanding business applications like enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management information silos.