Vodafone Spain has launched what it claims is the country’s first commercially available HSDPA-enabled mobile handset, the Samsung Z560.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vodafone Spain began testing HSDPA services using equipment supplied by Nortel in Salamanca in March 2006 and launched commercial laptop datacard-based services three months later. HSDPA is currently available in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Malaga and Albacete. Some new laptops manufactured by Lenovo and Acer are being sold with Vodafone’s HSDPA card built into them. In August 2006 Vodafone contracted Huawei Technologies for the provision of radio access equipment for its W-CDMA/HSDPA network in certain cities. Neither the names of the cities nor financial details have been disclosed. In October Vodafone launched the Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem, which connects to computers and laptops via a standard USB cable, making it compatible with Apple computers as well as standard PCs; Vodafone’s standard PCMCIA laptop datacards can only be used with PCs. The HSDPA network currently offers download speeds of up to 1.4Mbps (with an average of 400kbps to 700kbps) and upload speeds of up to 384kbps. Vodafone says in the future HSDPA will enable peak download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.