Mobile operator T-Mobile UK has launched its first HSDPA-enabled laptop datacard service, Web’n’Walk Pro, but has banned users of the service from running third-party VoIP and messaging applications over the high speed network, according to ZDnet. It is widely believed that T-Mobile intends to offer its own VoIP software for users and the fine print of the Web’n’Walk contract reveals that third-party services are banned by the operator, with any user caught running the applications liable for expulsion from its network. As part of its launch promotion, T-Mobile is offering the datacard with a voucher that allows free use of its Wi-Fi hotspots for twelve months.
In November 2005 T-Mobile completed its first test calls using HSDPA technology in co-operation with Nokia. The trials are still taking place in the UK, as well as in Germany and the Netherlands, with T-Mobile claiming download speeds of up to 1.8Mbps. It plans to launch commercial HSDPA services in the UK in the summer with its coverage mirroring the mainly metropolitan footprint of its current W-CDMA network. T-Mobile anticipates that the first phase of HSDPA will see consistent downlink speeds of around 1Mbps, but hopes to offer speeds of more than 7Mbps by 2007.