Vodafone UK today announced that it will be launching the Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem, a new version of its 3G broadband data card designed especially for users of the latest generation of laptops, desktops and Apple MacBooks, later this year. The device, which will be available in the autumn, will allow customers to access Vodafone's high speed 3G broadband service by simply plugging it into the USB slot on their computer.
Vodafone, which in June 2006 was the first network to launch high speed 3G broadband services in the UK, has launched the new device in response to the demand for 3G broadband from users of the latest generation of laptops. This is due to the fact that many newer laptops only have smaller ExpressCard rather than traditional PC card slots. The new Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem ensures that Vodafone customers are able to access 3G broadband services regardless of their choice of computer.
Customers using the Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem will be able to benefit from download speeds of around 1.4Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps, across Vodafone's growing 3G broadband footprint. Currently this is available in Greater London (within the M25), the West Midlands, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Greater Manchester, Bristol and Tyneside, with plans to reach 75% of the UK population by summer 2007. The service is also available in a number of other countries worldwide (Austria, Australia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Hong Kong). When outside of 3G broadband coverage, customers will automatically be able to access the web using Vodafone's existing 3G and GPRS services.
John Lillistone, head of enterprise data services, Vodafone UK, commented: "The Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem is designed so that anyone, regardless of their choice of computer, can access high speed data while on the move. This will be of particular appeal to the large number of our small business customers that work in the creative industries, who have tended to prefer Apple computers or the latest design of laptops. It has been designed entirely around the needs of the customer, offering a simple 'plug and play' set-up process - even the software installs itself from the modem, so that absolutely no knowledge of technology is required to get online in moments."
Dale Vile, research director at Freeform Dynamics Ltd, adds: "3G data card users and those involved in HSDPA trials highlight the liberating nature of the 'open the lid and connect' experience. All moves to make this available to a broader audience are welcome, and it is nice to see that the Mac community has not been forgotten as part of this. The 'plug and play' convenience factor of self-installing USB modems is in keeping with the hassle-free nature of cellular connectivity, which will also appeal to many Windows users".