3 and Vodafone Gearing up to Take on Telstra

(25 Mar 2009, BWCS Staff)

Vodafone has set the first week of May as the date for the switch on of its new Australian joint venture with Hutchison's 3. The new service provider, which will operate as VHA, will, at a stroke, become the second largest 3G operator in Australia behind Telstra. Vodafone says the switch-on, which was originally scheduled for last year, will happen in the major regional centres before going national later in the summer.

According to the UK-based global mobile operator, the delay in the Australian launch has been down to its supplier, Ericsson, which is also working with rival Telstra on its roll out. Vodafone says it is now in the final stages of trialing and fine tuning its new system, which, in theory, will offer customers 3G services at speeds of up to 14Mbps.

The first areas to be covered will include a host of small towns and some cities such as Cairns, Hobart and Darwin. Customers in all other areas that are currently covered by Vodafone's second generation mobile network should be able to connect to its new 3G service by August of this year, the operator said. In fact, by May 80% of the Australian population will be covered by the 3G network with this figure rising to 94% by August.

Telstra claims its Next G coverage extends to 99% and has a theoretical download speed of up to 21Mbps.


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