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Ireland overrun with HSDPA networks

But who was first to deploy?

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3 Ireland's recent announcement that it would be deploying the country's first HSDPA network next year was met with a swift and curt response from Vodafone, pointing out that it's had the technology deployed for over a month and just because no-one is using it doesn't mean it's not there.

Vodafone made its intentions clear back in January when Teresa Elder, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, said the company would have HSDPA deployed by the end of 2006. So on November it very quietly switched on coverage for Dublin, and since then has expanded to cover 59 per cent of the population offering speeds of up to 1.4Mb/sec, according to TeleGeography.

Vodafone's launch has been decidedly low-profile, and even it is only claiming to have 5,000 connected devices, which is hardly a significant proportion of its customer base.

3's launch has been of a different magnitude, with lots of in-shop promotion already in Dublin and a rapid roll-out of applications to take advantage of its promised 3Mb/sec connectivity.

It seems that technically Vodafone was first to support HSDPA, though as a consumer product offering 3 are clearly first in the shops with handsets and services. The competition to be the first to offer wireless broadband in Ireland has been fierce, and it's unsurprising that the result comes down to a definition of terms.

If you want to be remembered for being first, it's best to tell as many people as possible, and be clear as to what you are first to do, so history notices. ®

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