Vodafone Australia will launch commercial HSDPA mobile services in the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas on 20 October, according to ZDNet Australia. The cellco began piloting HSDPA with around 40 corporate customers working on Sydney’s Lower North Shore last month. The triallists are using Vodafone branded datacards to test the network, which boasts speeds of up to 1.8Mbps/384kbps (down/upload). The datacards will cost around AUD299 (USD222) at launch, with a W-CDMA/HSDPA PC modem to follow in November; HSDPA-enabled handsets will arrive sometime in the first half of 2007. Vodafone will offer three W-CDMA/HSDPA packages, ranging from AUD29.95 to AUD99.95 per month for between 100MB and 1GB of inclusive data. Vodafone expects to be the first Australian cellco to launch a commercial HSDPA network. Rival operators Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTA) and Telstra intend to launch commercial HSDPA over their shared 3G network in 1H2007, but Optus Mobile, which shares its 3G network with Vodafone, has yet to reveal its plans for the technology.