Pieter Uys, COO of Vodacom, announced that this service, based on HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, will compete favourably on speed and the pricing structure will be competitive. HSDPA is an upgrade of the WCDMA network. Currently tests are under way and the results are encouraging.
A live demonstration of the new HSDPA technology, by Uys and Jannie Van Zyl (of Vodacom 3G), produced impressive results. The current GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 3G technologies had download times for a medium size file of 220 and 60 seconds respectively. The new HSDPA connection downloaded it in just 17 seconds.
The quality of the connection is also good enough for the simultaneous streaming of five television channels and providing DVD quality TV broadcasting.
With MTN only planning to launch its EDGE network later this year (rumours indicate only in September), I can only why I decided to stick with them, especially considering that Vodacom is already talking about launching the Nokia N91 later in the year.