3 plans to sell iPad later this year

13 May 2010

3 Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan told Siliconrepublic.com that the company intends to be selling the Apple iPad tablet computer device later this year as it rolls out its i-HSPA technology which will enable 14.4Mbps speeds.

3 and Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed today that Ireland is the first country in Europe to benefit from the deployment of i-HSPA or 3.5G mobile broadband technology, which will enable the company to provide 14.4Mbps mobile broadband services in the coming months.

Chief technology officer David Hennessy said the i-HSPA technology provided a flat architecture for 3’s base stations, which now provide broadband to 97pc of the country and this means that data is now the conduit for all of 3’s voice traffic.

Hennessy said that 3 is seeing a huge shift towards smart devices driven largely by the popularity of the iPhone, Android smartphones and the forthcoming iPad tablet computer.

“The reality is people will need high security data available wherever they go.”

Hennessy said that later this year, 3 will be rolling out 14.4Mbps devices. “This means customers will go to our shops and buy devices that will complement 14.4Mbps speeds.

“We’re seeing a revolution in data – we are now a thousand times faster than 15 years ago when the first data transmission on mobile networks were 9.6Kbps and then we had a 14.4Kbps breakthrough.”

I asked 3’s CEO Robert Finnegan that surely if 3 were going to be capable of providing 14.4Mbps services that were beyond the range of typical smartphone devices then it would be moving into the realm of the iPad.

“I expect that any product that works at these speeds will be running on this network.

“Yes, we’d expect to be selling the iPad later this year.”

Apple’s iPad device has so far sold more than 1 million devices since launch and is due to go on sale in the UK in June and in Ireland in July. There are currently more than 200,000 apps for the iPad available for download.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The Apple iPad tablet computer

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years