3 this morning switched on its high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) network, which increases mobile broadband speeds available to consumers by up to 10 times to 3.6Mbps.
The services, which is enabled by the 3 Group’s recent unveiling of its X-series of phones and services, will be available to over 80pc of the population at launch.
3’s new network of 3Stores will feature HSDPA-enabled handsets and data cards which will go on sale from January.
“Because of the slow rollout of fixed-line broadband services, uptake in Ireland has lagged behind other European countries,” commented 3 Ireland managing director Robert Finnegan. “Today’s announcement shows 3’s commitment to the Irish market in making Ireland a serious broadband player.”
3’s mobile broadband packages start at €24.99 for 250MB and €39.99 for 3,000MB. Data cards will start selling at €49 rising up to €99.
The company revealed that once a user goes beyond their allotted limit monthly of either 250MB or 3,000MB, the service will cost 49 cents per minute.
3’s new service was welcomed by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD: “As Ireland aims to reduce the digital divide, 3G mobile technology is playing a significant role in bringing converged services and great-value broadband to the nation.
“With over 103pc mobile penetration, mobile broadband is bringing high-speed internet services to Irish consumers with the added benefit of mobility. 3 is the first operator to launch mobile broadband and we welcome the speedy introduction of HSDPA from the other operators,” Dempsey said.
By John Kennedy