Should you care that Vodafone launched a High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) service in the UK in early December? Well unless you're a mobile road warrior, probably not. HSUPA, should, according to Vodafone, give you around 5Mbit/s when downloading and around 1.5Mbit/s when uploading content.
I’ve been giving one of Vodafone’s new HSUPA devices a roll, and at the minute I’ve seen a maximum of 2Mbit/s when downloading data in central London (postcode W1A). However, I haven’t had a full strength connection yet, so there’s probably a bit more gas in the tank.
The modem comes in a neat USB stick form factor though (see picture), and also has a usage tracker as well, which makes keeping to that 3GB ‘fair usage’ limit a lot easier. Vodafone say they won’t charge if you go over the ‘fair use’ limit, but will ask you to ‘temper your usage’, if you keep breaking the limit.
Data transfer speed is one thing, but what about latency - which is just as important. Well, if you ping Google’s web site through your work connection, you should see times in the 15 millisecond region and around 25 milliseconds on your home broadband connection. I remember Orange’s HSDPA service, the 3G service before HSUPA, giving ping times around 170 milliseconds. The ping times Vodafone’s service has given have been as low as 105 milliseconds - all the better for drawing web pages that bit quicker.
The device costs £49 on an 18-month contract with a flat rate price per month is £25 and you can also use SMS on Vodafone’s USB modem. We'll be putting out a full review in a few weeks time.
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