T-Mobile UK today announces an important next step in mobile becoming the primary means for individuals to access the internet with the launch of the first truly high speed mobile broadband in the UK, providing speeds over 1 megabit per second, over four times faster than 3G.
This is made possible by HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), an enhancement to 3G. It delivers speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 1.8 megabits per second. In practice, this means delivered speeds of 1 megabyte or more for customers, comparing favourably with the vast majority of current fixed broadband internet connections.
T-Mobile's is the UK's first live mobile HSDPA network and it already covers 65% of the UK's population. It is the latest step in T-Mobile's roadmap to deliver speeds in excess of 20 megabits by the end of the decade and supports T-Mobile's belief that mobile will in the future become individuals' primary access to the internet, further displacing the fixed line.
The new service will initially be available on web'n'walkTM data cards, which can be slotted into customers' compatible laptops to give HSDPA as well as WiFi and GPRS access. By year end, this will be followed by the progressive introduction of a range of HSDPA handsets and wireless pocket computers.
T-Mobile's HSDPA network is commercially available from August 1 for all customers with the web'n'walkTM data card which is already HSDPA enabled. At launch, it will cost 17 GBP per month as an introductory offer for web browsing and e-mail. New customers can get a free web'n'walkTM data card if they sign up to an 18 or 24 month minimum term contract from T-Mobile.
Next year, T-Mobile intends to increase HSDPA speeds up to 3.6 megabits per second. It intends following this with further increases through 7.2 and then 10 megabytes per second, targetting speeds in excess of 20 megabits per second by the end of the decade.
Earlier this year, T-Mobile launched HSDPA in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary, making it Europe's first and largest high speed mobile broadband network.