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Vodafone trials HSPA Mobile Broadband technology (speeds up to 21.6 Mbps) in Portugal

Lisbon, 4 February 2009 – Vodafone Portugal this morning initiated in Lisbon the first data session using the new HSPA 64QAM technology which makes it possible to use Mobile Broadband at a theoretical maximum download speed of 21.6 Mbps.

The tests were carried out under real conditions on the Vodafone Portugal network in partnership with Ericsson. Real download peaks of 16 Mbps were achieved. These tests were carried out following those made in January by the Vodafone Group using the same technology.

The new HSPA broadband technology facilitates increases in real download speeds, significantly improving customers’ experience of mobile Internet. To give an example: at a peak theoretical speed of 21.6 Mbps it would be possible to download a tune (4MB) in less than 2 seconds or a content equivalent to a CD (750 MB) in under 5 minutes.

Vodafone Portugal is expecting to launch commercial HSPA Internet offers in 2009, as soon as compatible data devices come onto the market.

HSPA is the next step in the development of 3G/HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) technology and uses the latest 64QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) modulation techniques. Vodafone estimates that the speeds achieved using HSPA technology could be increased even further with the MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) functionality which uses multiple antennas on base stations and data devices and supports a theoretical maximum speed of 28.8 Mbps.

The characteristics of the 64QAM and MIMO require the use of new HSPA broadband handsets. Vodafone is working with manufacturers in the testing and validation phases of these handsets, with a view to commercialising them.

At present, Vodafone mobile broadband customers can download data and browse the Internet at speeds up to 7.2 Mbps, providing them with an Internet experience comparable to that of fixed broadband.

Vodafone has been leading the introduction of Mobile Broadband products and services in Portugal, having pioneered the launch of offers based on 3.5G technologies (HSDPA, HSUPA) which enable customers to benefit from ever faster data download and upload speeds.