Feeds
85%

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2

HSDPA - and HSUPA - for the masses?

Boost IT visibility and business value

And upload speeds? It's something Vodafone tends not to mention, but it's there in small letters on the back of the box: support for HSUPA. If you're in the 7.2Mb/s HSDPA one, you also get 2.0Mb/s upload speeds, though again that's the theoretical maximum: according to the carrier, 1.4Mb/s a more likely real-world speed.

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2

Cabled up and ready to go

A separate modem we're also trying, Novatel Wireless' Ovation MC950D, didn't register us as being in an HSUPA area, but we tried uploading in any case. FTP'ing a 7MB file took 17m 18s - an average speed of 55.25Kb/s, but we experienced peak upload speeds of up to 94.32Kb/s. That's a long way shy of 1.4Mb/s.

Since Vodafone's 7.2Mb/s HSDPA coverage isn't a widespread - it's central London and 15 airports only, as of December 2007 - if you travel, you'll quickly drop down to the 1.8Mb/s service in metropolitan areas - 80 per cent of the UK population, says Vodafone - and GPRS if you go further still. Out of central London, the upload rate's a more typical 110Kb/s or thereabouts.

Actually, some places have 3.6Mb/s HSDPA, but Vodafone bizarrely refuses to say where they are.

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2

Vodafone's official line on expanding all these zones is that it'll review demand over the next 12 months and if other areas warrant 7.2Mb/s HSDPA and 2.0Mb/s HSUPA, it'll consider implementing these technologies. But nothing has been set in stone.

Finally, Vodafone's just released an alternative model that looks like a USB Flash drive, and that's likely to prove more popular if only for the fact it doesn't need a cable. We'll be taking a look at it in due course.

Verdict

The USB Modem 7.2 is a neat-looking add-on that delivers a decent mobile internet experience. If you have a 1.8Mb/s HSDPA modem and you're not slap bang in the middle of London, there's no need to upgrade just yet. If you don't own an HSDPA modem but you're not in the 7.2Mb/s zone, at least this boy will cope with network updates if and when they happen.

Seven Steps to Software Security

85%

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2

Like Wi-Fi, this gadget's real-word data transfer speed's not what it says on the tin, but it makes for a decent mobile surfing experience...
Price: £49 on a 12-month, £25 per month contract or free on a 18-24 month, £25 per month contract RRP

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.