Vodafone tests HSDPA in New Zealand

Even before Vodafone Group launches its third generation cellphone network in New Zealand the company is busy trialling its successor.

Outgoing Vodafone chief executive Tim Miles, who is heading to London to head up Vodafone's UK operation, says New Zealand was to be one of only two countries in the Vodafone family to trial HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access), the so-called 3.5G technology that will replace WCDMA (Wideband CDMA).

"New Zealand is renowned in the Vodafone group for being the place to set up and test this kind of thing," Miles says.

Incoming chief executive Russell Stanners confirms testing will begin this year.

"We haven't decided what format that testing will take, whether it's a straight technical trial or a commercial trial. These things tend to have a life of their own and we develop them as we learn more about them during our research."

Vodafone is on the back foot regarding its 3G network. Telecom, which has chosen a rival technology, has already launched its service at a price that is less than Vodafone's existing network charge rates. Stanners won't confirm the launch date for Vodafone's 3G network except to say it is well on track.

Vodafone is currently spending up to NZ$400 million on its 3G network which promises to deliver speeds of up to 384kbit/s. However, Telecom's T3G network, which uses the EV-DO (evolution data optimised) standard, is already delivering speeds of up to 2Mbit/s.

HSDPA promises up to 10Mbit/s, although initial offerings are more likely to be around the 3Mbit/s speed range. The best news for Vodafone is upgrading to HSDPA won't require a full network replacement but instead is a far cheaper software upgrade for existing W-CDMA network operators.

Lurking in the background, however, is WiMax, the wireless broadband standard that builds on the WiFi market. WiMax is said to offer speeds of up to 70Mbit/s, but at this stage isn't designed to offer a mobile solution. Telecom's US partner Sprint has already made it clear it expects to use WiMax to succeed EV-DO in the next year or so.

HSDPA is expected to be rolled out in some Asia-Pacific countries later this year and is already being discussed in Europe as the logical successor to W-CDMA.

This isn't the first time Vodafone has used New Zealand as a test bed. In 2000 Vodafone announced it would build the world's first national GPRS-based network in New Zealand and encouraged local developers to build applications for the network standard that would then be sold around the world. However, delays meant New Zealand lagged behind other Vodafone countries in launching the service, and customers were underwhelmed by the speed of connections, which for most was no better than dialup.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Brislen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?