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Vodafone New Zealand Introduces 3G Mobile Broadband Service Based on HSDPA
Posted on 12-Sep-2006 08:25 | Tags Filed under: News

Vodafone New Zealand has announced its new high speed cellular data service, based on HSDPA (High Speed Dowlink Packet Access) technology, an evolution of its current 3G network based on the WCDMA standard. The service is branded as Vodafone 3G Broadband.

The company says that from 1 October its 3G network will deliver a theoretical maximum speed of 3.6Mbps (megabits per second), but customers should expect average performance of 800Kbps-1.4Mbps. The variation in speeds will depend on coverage, cell site load and other factors.

Vodafone will deliver speeds up to 3.6Mbps in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. HSDPA will also be available in other areas with 3G coverage but will initially operate at speeds below 1Mbps. Speeds in these centres and others will increase over the next 18 months as part of a deployment programme now being developed.

The operator is also announcing a new set of pricing plans, starting at NZ$29.95 for 200MB or 1GB for NZ$49.95. For an additional NZ$10 per month, customers will receive 'bundle insurance', a data cap extension for those months they hit or by-pass their limit.

According to the company, Vodafone 3G broadband provides the flexibility of doing business anywhere, being a single mobile connection that provides secure and fast access to information from various locations and any time.

Using the new service will require new devices for connectivity. The company is introducing the Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem (Vodem), a portable modem with that plugs into a USB 2.0 port on any laptop or desktop computer, self-installs its own connectivity software and automatically connects. The Vodem is compatible with both PCs and Mac computer products and has a non contract retail price of NZ$429.

In October, Vodafone will launch the Vodafone 3G broadband Express Card, which is a smaller and faster version of the current 3G Vodafone Mobile Connect datacard. It will offer download speeds of up to 3.6Mps. Its retail price will be NZ$529.

Also being introduced are new mobiles phones that can be used as modems on the new high speed network. The two HSDPA-enabled mobiles are the Samsung ZV50 and the Samsung Z560V. Both mobile phones can be used as a modem, connecting to your laptop and desktop via a USB 2.0 port while simultaneously providing voice calling. The retai pricing for the Samsung ZV50 is NZ$999 and the Samsung Z560V is NZ$1,099.

The Vodafone 3G broadband Router is being updated to allow a Vodafone 3G broadband connection to be shared between up to five people, by plugging a data card into the router. This is a solution for temporary site offices in industries as diverse as construction and accounting and it will be in the market with a suggested price of NZ$399, plus NZ$529 for the datacard.

And for people who don't want external connections, some laptops with built-in Vodafone 3G broadband connectivity will e available. The Vodafone 3G broadband chip-set is built into laptops available from vendors including Acer, Lenovo, HP and Panasonic.

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