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Vodafone increases mobile broadband speeds
Wednesday 29 August 2007 18:26:16 by Andrew Ferguson

Vodafone UK is to upgrade its 3G network to offer faster connection speeds. Downloads will run at up to 7.2Mbps and uploads at up to 1.44Mbps, though download speeds are most likely to be in the range of 1.7Mbps to 5.5Mbps depending on things like signal strength.

The new service speeds are based around HSUPA technology which will require upgrades to the 3G network, with this happening initially in central London and other places such as the larger airports.

The service will be available via a USB modem or for those with a laptop that has an ExpressCard slot a card will be available. The availability of a USB modem makes it suitable for people wishing to connect a desktop computer.

The challenge for Vodafone is to compete against the pricing from Three who currently offer three price plans at 1GB for £10 a month, 3GB for £15 and 7GB for £25 a month. Vodafone currently offers a 3GB usage allowance for £30 a month. Compared to the days when mobile broadband usage allowances were around 20 to 100MB (0.02 to 0.1GB) per month the services are much more suited to consumer use. The usage allowances and pricing are now heading into competition with cheaper fixed line broadband services, without the need for connection fees when you move home.

With the increasing speeds and more attractive usage allowances, there are areas of London where people may actually get a better broadband service with the 3G services. This is because some parts of London, particularly around London airport, suffer from a lack of cable broadband and also have long telephone lines.

Comments

Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
Still a way to go regarding the allowances but the speeds quoted put this as a serious alternative for people stuck with high attenuation lines.
Posted by timmay over 9 years ago
Does anyone actually know the capacity of HSDPA and HSUPA. I.E. what it the total bandwidth available on the network (mast/sector) compared to the connection speed of the modems? Contention could soon be a big problem for mobile broadband if usage rises too much if it's sold as a fixed line alternative in highly populated areas!
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
"total bandwidth ... network"

Good point. A real answer would beat the guesses here, but might not look pretty.

Each cell needs a link back to the operator's core network. Prior to 3G these were often microwave, often ~1Mbit/cell. 3G needs much more bandwidth per punter (but has fewer punters per cell). What are the options?

Wimax-class wireless? Maybe. Fibre? Usally too expensive/impractical. ADSL ? Maybe, but limited range+speed. SDSL: ditto but worse. BT LES ("Ethernet over a phone wire"): Maybe, if you're close to an exchange on the operator's core network.

Summary: not much.
Posted by Balb0wa over 9 years ago
this is what we need, 3 and vodafone, good price war ahead, great for me and others on very long lines.
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
There will be no real price war for Vodafone vs. Three.

It has taken the 4 "traditional" operators being T-Mobile, Orange, O2 and Vodafone some time to catch up with three's voice tariffs. It is doubtful that Vodafone will want to price it's own product down when it knows that people will pay for their "reputable" high standard of service compared to three's which has been noted as being rather poor.
Posted by painintheneck over 9 years ago
Only been with Vodafone Mobile for 2 months (on contract). That part of their website which should show itemised billing has not been available all that time. They have charged me 4 x more than was originally agreed and I have no way of telling how they arrive at that figure. Big deal-they will now send itemised paper bill free of charge! Not a good start. Good luck with their Broadband package but watch out for their billing department.
Posted by doowles over 9 years ago
my friend has just got this(well the slower version) with the usb modem and the service seems fine for people who just want to browse the net. Only problems encountered so far is msn signing out every so often, seemingly at regular intervals. Also vodafone put on a "parental lock" that you need to remove by getting them to put money in your bank account as verification.
Posted by doowles over 9 years ago
Forgot to say, best thing is you dont have to pay BT for a useless phone line like normal ADSL.
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