Vodafone ups mobile broadband ante

Competition needed to make mobile data more viable

Vodafone Australia has improved the value of its mobile broadband offering by launching a 5GB data plan for $39 per month.

Touted by the company as "comparable to the price and speed of fixed line broadband", Vodafone's 5GB data offer comes with either a free Vodafone Mobile Connect USB modem or the new E800 Expresscard.

The offer is available on a 24-month contract.

Vodafone Australia data marketing manager Tim Cowan said the company has invested to build a mobile broadband network that provides coverage "where it really counts".

"This plan makes mobile broadband more affordable for many Australian customers and ends the traditional view that mobile broadband is the exclusive domain of business customers," Cowan said, adding more business customers should "capitalize on the benefits of mobility" in the New Year.

Vodafone's 3G broadband network is based on high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology and operates on the 3.6Mbps standard.

Download speeds of between 600Kbps to 1.5Mbps are available in metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, the NSW central coast, Adelaide and Perth, and the larger airports.

Both the Vodafone Mobile Connect USB modem and the E800 Expresscard are capable of operating on the 7.2Mbps network standard, which will be available when the network is upgraded.

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Rodney Gedda

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