T-Mobile launches HSUPA, but Vodafone leading race for nationwide coverage

26 Nov 2007

T-Mobile Deutschland has announced the launch of HSUPA technology, enabling upstream mobile data transfer at speeds of up to 1.4Mbps over its network, compared to the existing upload maximum of 384kbps. The German cellco’s new web’n’walk ExpressCard IV laptop datacard supports HSUPA/HSDPA/W-CDMA/EDGE/WLAN, and its rollout of HSUPA has begun in Nuremberg and Hanover. The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary plans to equip its entire UMTS network with HSUPA by mid-2008, which mirrors the rollout target of rival Vodafone Germany. Last week Vodafone announced that HSUPA services were available in over 50 cities including Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Essen, Cologne, Frankfurt, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, providing upload speeds of up to 1.45Mbps. Vodafone’s mobile device range includes three HSUPA-enabled products, the Mobile Connect USB Stick modem (launched earlier this month), the Mobile Connect Card 3G Broadband Express datacard and the EasyBox III modem (aimed at home PC users). HSUPA is scheduled to be deployed over the entire Vodafone 3G network ‘by the summer of 2008’, according to the company.

Both cellcos launched HSDPA services in the first quarter of 2006, and both announced in March 2007 that that they were doubling maximum download speeds to 7.2Mbps. T-Mobile has since claimed to be the first operator in Germany to make HSDPA available across its entire W-CDMA network, but its UK-owned rival beat it to the punch by launching its first HSUPA-enabled mobile datacard in July 2007, although it did not announce the commercial availability of HSUPA data transmission until last week.