3 & NEC Pilot HSDPA UK Trial

Carried out on a live network in Reading.

I’ll be dashing around London at IT press events most of today so you’ll only be getting two stories. Such limitations could soon be a thing of that past though (perhaps sadly, since I could do with the rest!) because 3 and NEC have just announced the UK’s first live implementation of HSDPA.


Unlike other HSDPA tests that you may have heard of this one wasn’t carried on in strict laboratory conditions either. ‘Live implementation’ means on a real live network and in this instance it was intermixed with heavy Release 99 traffic on a live, busy Node B in central Reading.

We’re not quite sure what Reading did to deserve such an honour (I suspect Steve Coppell had something to do with it) but the successful pilot means the network over the new Premiership commuter territory can now work with mobile data speeds of up to 1.4Mbps. That’s over 3x faster than current 3G connections and 40x quicker than GPRS. The pilot will now be extended to other areas (including the more predictable central London region in June) with actual commercial release expected in the second half of the year.

So a maximum of six months to go before being out the office hemmed into a press event is absolutely no excuse at all. I’ll enjoy it while I can…


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