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Vodafone to launch 3G mobile data service next week

New Mobile Connect card launched

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Vodafone begun to offer its 3G mobile data service to big business customers less than a month after commencing commercial trials.

On Monday, the mobile phone network will launch what it claims is Europe's first 3G data card for notebooks, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS. The card maintains Internet connections at up to 384Kbps.

That's effectively broadband level, and it will interesting to see whether Vodafone's 3G network can indeed support that kind of data throughput in the field.

The company claimed that the feedback from its trials - which began late last month - has been "extremely positive".

As per the trial, the commercial 3G data service is only available in London and along the M4 corridor. However, Vodafone promised to extend coverage to other major urban areas, including Birmingham and Manchester, by April. By then it expects to reach 30 per cent of the UK population.

Many of them are consumers, of course, and they're going to have to wait a few months yet for Vodafone's 3G services, when it extends its Vodafone Live! service. ®

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