Feeds
85%

Vodafone USB Modem 7.2

HSDPA - and HSUPA - for the masses?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.