Vodafone has become the first mobile network operator to introduce a commercial 3G service to Ireland, in the form of its Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS Data card.
Similar to its existing GPRS data card, the Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS works seamlessly between Vodafone’s 3G and GPRS networks. At present its 3G network provides 45pc population coverage, whilst its GPRS service covers 95pc of the population.
The data card has download speeds of up to 384Kbps, which Vodafone claims is up to seven times faster than a GPRS data card.
Vodafone has created five bundle price plans to support the new data card, ranging from free to a maximum of €288 (excluding Vat) depending on the size of the bundle, which incorporates between 20MB to 1000MB of free usage, inclusive data usage of 20MB to 500MB with a 60 cent to €1.45 charge per extra megabyte of data used. Monthly bundles cost €25, €55, €70, €150 and €199 respectively.
It is understood that the product will be available through Vodafone’s retail stores nationwide from 7 July.
Vodafone Ireland chief executive Paul Donovan commented: “The launch of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS Data card represents a significant development for Vodafone Ireland and marks the first significant step towards our roll out of 3G services in Ireland. Already we have achieved 45pc population coverage with our 3G network. We are committed to continued deployment of the network and we are investing heavily in increasing coverage as quickly as possible to ensure more customers are able to benefit from 3G.”
By John Kennedy