Vodafone Fiji yesterday launched the nation’s first 3G mobile network at a formal ceremony held in the museum in Suva. The company hopes the mobile broadband network will transform the local industry, delivering of a wide array of voice and data services to business users and consumers. Vodafone’s 3G network is part of a FJD70 million (USD38.2 million) investment in 2008 using equipment supplied by Ericsson of Sweden. Three years ago Vodafone selected Ericsson’s Mobile Softswitch products to expand its network in Fiji, signing a five-year deal with the manufacturer which also includes managed services.
Local online journal FijiLive reports that Vodafone customers on an existing 2.5G data plan can have their package upgraded to 3G at a cost of FJD69.95. Meanwhile, customers signed up on a BlackBerry (2.5G) tariff plan can also upgrade to 3G for FJD69.95 (basic package) or FJD99.95 for the premium service plan. Vodafone’s new network is HSDPA-enabled and users can purchase a datacard for their laptops enabling them to browse the internet, send and receive SMS, chat using their existing IM service, access business applications and connect to their company’s network via VPN.