Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Packets more punch for U.K. mobile data users

Computer Weekly reports that this summer will see the U.K. introduction of 3.5G HSDPA (High-Speed Data Packet Access) networks, which is "a technology upgrade to current UMTS networks, sending data packets over a 5MHz bandwidth," and "is reputedly several times faster than current 384kbps 3G speeds - up to a theoretical 15Mbps."

Jason Chapman at Gartner commented that "while HSDPA would give companies fast mobile access to business applications and data, links from the network to mobile PCs would run at between 500kbps and 700kbps." He said, "HSDPA brings ISDN speed, and is good enough for most applications. For doing e-mail with attachments and gaining access to corporate applications, these things become a lot more usable."

According to the article O2 trialed HSDPA last year and Vodafone will run trial this month. "O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3 all plan to offer HSDPA services in the UK either later this year, or in 2007."

The article looks at some of the HSDPA efforts from carriers, equipment providers, and notebook and handset manufacturers. Nick McQuires at Yankee Group pointed out that "in terms of integrating 3G mobile devices with Wi-Fi networks, fixed lines and PBXs, work is being done by suppliers such as Avaya, Alcatel, BT, Cisco, Motorola and Nokia."

McQuire added that "before usable business services become available, suppliers need to sort out tariffs, handset availability, and standards."