I don’t know why this should be surprising but users’ experiences with the upgrade to Vodacom’s 3G offering, HSDPA, have been less than promised by the network. ITWeb’s David Glazier has the following to say:
Not all it’s cracked up to be
HSDPA has been big news this week, with ITWeb reporting Tuesday that MTN’s HSDPA data cards – designed for private users – will be in the country by the weekend, and available through retailers by month’s end.
MTN’s initial statement about the service being available on 23 March wasn’t entirely true; but then neither was Vodacom’s announcement that HSDPA will offer subscribers 1.8Mbps downlink speeds. Recent tests show one can expect about 600Kbps from Vodacom in reality, with peaks that might possibly get to 1.5Mbps – but for this I think users will have to stand right under the nearest tower at 4am.
It looks like yet another case of technology providers over-hyping their own offerings and being caught with their pants down and thumbs in their mouths and their users with buyer’s remorse. Meanwhile Vodacom’s marketing is in high gear as it pushes HSDPA just as hard as it can although, unlike Telkom’s promises of broadband at less than broadband speeds, Vodacom’s marketing refers to HSDPA as being “comparable to today’s ADSL” services so it gets a Noddy badge for that one. A small one.
Take a look at my post on Neuvo titled “HSDPA is finally here … almost!” for a bit more info on the introduction of HSDPA in South Africa.