Vodafone boosts uplink speeds

The mobile operator plans to launch a USB modem that takes advantage of HSUPA technology to provide greater upstream bandwidth

Vodafone will further boost mobile broadband speeds with the introduction of the latest enhancement to 3G technology.

The enhancement, called High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), offers increased upload speeds of 1.44Mbps, which Vodafone claims is 10 times faster than upload speeds offered by standard 3G.

The mobile operator already provides 3G services based on HSDPA, which provides faster download speeds. Throughout the autumn, Vodafone will be beefing up its HSDPA network to support a theoretical maximum download speed of 7.2Mbps, although users are likely to experience between 1.7Mbps and 5.5Mbps. The current theoretical maximum offered by HSDPA is 3.6Mbps.

As of 3 September, the operator will offer a new version of its HSDPA-enabled USB modem to take advantage of HSUPA, as well as two new Expresscard-based modems. The USB modem will be Vodafone's first to operate across three spectrum bands, making it usable in countries such as the US.

"These devices are fast but they are also future-proofed — they are ready for our new upgraded network and they are ready for the latest PCs or laptops," said Vodafone's enterprise business unit director, Kyle Whitehill.

The availability of HSUPA is a critical tool in the 3G operators' fight against rival technologies such as mobile WiMax which, although not yet available in the UK, is seen as offering better uplink and downlink capacity than 3G and its variants.