Vodafone Ireland has reacted angrily to rival Hutchison 3G Ireland’s announcement earlier this week claiming it will be the first to launch a high speed mobile broadband network in the Republic based on HSDPA technology, when the network goes live nationwide in January 2007. In a terse statement, Vodafone dismissed 3’s claim, saying its 3.5G HSDPA service was in fact launched first last month. ‘3 has incorrectly claimed to be the first mobile operator in Ireland to launch a high speed mobile broadband network . . . Vodafone Ireland went live with a 3G broadband network on 14 November and currently has in excess of 5,000 devices operating on this 3G broadband network, it said. Following a low profile launch the operator claims its 3.5G network is currently available to 59% of the population, with plans to extend this to 70% by end-March 2007. However, it has been pointed out that while Vodafone’s highest data throughput is only 1.4Mbps, 3 Ireland is claiming transmission speeds of up to 3Mbps – making it the fastest service, if not the first.