From Thursday 22 June, customers can purchase a Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G broadband (HSDPA) data card and take advantage of significantly improved data transfer speeds on their laptops.
Greater London (within the M25), Glasgow, Sheffield, Greater Manchester and Tyneside will be the first major UK conurbations to experience 3G broadband with roll out continuing across 3G coverage areas. Full 3G broadband roll out covering Vodafone's entire 3G network is targeted for completion by summer 2007. From Thursday, customers can also roam over Vodafone's 3G broadband network in six countries (Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Hong Kong). More countries will be added as Vodafone's 3G broadband footprint expands.
Customers in the UK can also purchase laptops exclusively featuring Vodafone's built-in 3G broadband capability from leading PC manufacturers Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Also available through its usual channel partners is the Vodafone 3G broadband-compatible 3G/UMTS Router, which enables instant group access to networks, email and the Internet. The 3G/UMTS Router also allows additional devices, such as printers, to be connected using Ethernet or 802.11g wireless connections. Further enhanced by 3G broadband, it is designed to be quick and easy to set up providing even higher speed mobile data connectivity for teams working on the move.
Mark Bond, Sales Director, Enterprise Business Unit, Vodafone UK, comments: "3G broadband is designed to meet the needs of today's 'work anywhere' business culture, as more and more people access their email or office network whilst on the move or away from the office. As the first operator to provide 3G broadband in the UK Vodafone customers will benefit from the fastest mobile data speeds enabling them to work more efficiently and productively."
The launch of Vodafone's 3G broadband services represents the next step in the evolution of Vodafone UK's 3G network. The Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G data card already provides flexibility and increased productivity to 80% of the current business data card market*. This is further boosted by 3G broadband's improved peak download speeds of around 1.4Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps. Vodafone's 3G broadband also offers up to three times the capacity of 3G, which allows more users in the same location to benefit simultaneously.
John Delaney, Principal Analyst with Ovum, comments: "Businesses should welcome the availability of faster 3G networks in the UK. The speeds that HSDPA can deliver under real-life operating conditions will significantly improve the mobile working experience, enabling mobile workers to do things more quickly and easily. Employers in some industry sectors should expect to see some real productivity gains as a result."
Excellent trial results
Vodafone UK's 3G broadband trials earlier this year** revealed how customers expect it to make a positive difference to their mobile working:- For example, 73% of trialists said they would prefer to use 3G broadband instead of WiFi in the future after experiencing 3G broadband. 85% said they would prefer to use 3G broadband over hotel provided broadband and 87% said they would recommend 3G broadband.
Further research*** also revealed that businesses expect 3G broadband to deliver: increased productivity and flexibility; faster secure access to the company network; faster email and attachment downloads while away from the office and a better working experience. The same research also showed that 82% of companies have deployed some form of mobile data device to their staff indicating that 3G broadband could make a great difference to the way users work while away from the office.
Pricing for the service remains consistent with existing Vodafone 3G price plans. Pricing starts from 25 (excl VAT) per month (Data 250), which includes 250 Mb of data. For, 45 (excl VAT) per month (Data Unlimited) customers can benefit from unlimited usage****. Cards cost 99 on the Data 250 price plan and 49 on the Data Unlimited price plan.
Existing 3G users wishing to upgrade should contact their account manager, go to a Vodafone store or visit www.vodafone.co.uk/business. Further information on laptops with built-in broadband can be found at www.vodafone.co.uk/builtin3gbroadband.