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Vodafone dials up 7.2Mb/s HSDPA USB dongle

On contract and PAYG

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Vodafone has rolled out Pebble - the nickname by which it's latest HSDPA modem is known. Officially the USB Modem 7.2, the Pebble provides 'super 3G' connectivity for PCs and Macs at up to 7.2Mb/s.

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2
Vodafone's USB Modem 7.2: super 3G add-on

That's the maximum download speed - uploads are expected to run to 384Kb/s. Vodafone said it has already started upgrading its 3G network to the 7.2Mb/s.

Vodafone wants £49 for the Pebble if you're willing to sign up for an 18-month £25- or £95-a-month contract. The up-front price rises to £99 for 12-month contract, or £170 if you want pay-as-you-go.

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2
Pay-as-you-go option

The PAYG deal bills access time on a daily basis: £8.50 for 24 hours' online time.

Inevitable a so-called 'fair usage' policy applies: the cut-off is 3GB for a monthly plan but a mere 500MB if you're a PAYG customer, in a given month.

Vodafone also said will be offering two Pebbles for the price of one to buyers who sign up for an 18-month contract over the Christmas period. Pebble can be purchased at Vodafone's website.

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