Following successful testing in Newbury, Vodafone UK will start customer trials on its live HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network from April.
With 100 business users testing Vodafone UK's HSDPA-enabled Mobile Connect Cards across central and greater London, the trials represent an important milestone in the evolution of the company's 3G network.
Tim Miles, CEO Vodafone UK said: "The start of our high speed 3G broadband trial marks our relentless commitment to offering the best possible experience to our customers. 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. These important trials are part of a continuing drive to lead the UK through superior network performance and a customer experience that is second to none."
HSDPA will deliver a faster mobile broadband experience to Vodafone customers in the UK from mid-2006, initially offering the mobile transfer of data from the internet and intranet at roughly four times faster than current 3G speeds. It will also deliver greater capacity (three times that of current 3G levels) meaning that more people in the same location at the same time can benefit from a superior experience. In addition, HSDPA offers improved latency, giving faster access to web-based content. As a result, customers will be able to work faster and download larger documents, such as PowerPoint presentations and email attachments, more quickly.
"HSDPA offers a win-win opportunity for both customers and Vodafone - it delivers on the promise of 3G to provide broadband-like services whilst on the move," comments Michael Ransom, Research Director for Wireless at Current Analysis.
He continues: "With higher HSDPA-driven wireless performance, Vodafone will enable business customers to move beyond mobile email and become mobile enterprises."
From mid-2006, Vodafone will phase in the introduction of a high-speed mobile broadband service. Customers within the M25 will be the first to benefit with coverage rolling out across all major UK towns and cities by the end of 2006.