Vodafone Australia has launched a pilot of HSDPA mobile services for 40 corporate customers working on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. The triallists are using Vodafone branded datacards to test the network, which boasts download speeds of up to 1.8Mbps. Vodafone expects to be the first Australian cellco to launch a commercial HSDPA network, when it rolls out services in the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas before the end of the year. Rival operators Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTA) and Telstra intend to launch commercial HSDPA over their shared 3G network in the first half of 2007. Optus Mobile, which shares its 3G network with Vodafone, has yet to reveal its plans for the technology.