VODAFONE STARTS 3G SERVICES IN EUROPE

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Datacards for the time being in seven countries

Vodafone today announces the commercial launch of its 3G services in Europe. The first service from Vodafone will be the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard, Europe’s first high speed lap top datacard.

With data rates of up to 384kbps, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard will enable Vodafone customers to access all their usual office applications like e-mail, calendar and internet at up to ten times the speed of GPRS. 

This will enable customers with a lap top to work anywhere just as if they are in the office.  The greater data speed of the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard, coupled with its reliability and ease of use, will generate greater business productivity and enhanced responsiveness from mobile workers.

Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard will be available in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK over the next four weeks.  The commercial launch of the 3G datacard follows successful customer trials conducted across Europe with thousands of business customers.

3G coverage is currently offered in most Vodafone markets in major cities and an increasing number of transport routes.  When outside of 3G network coverage, the Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard automatically switches to Vodafone’s GPRS network, which offers full coverage, meaning Vodafone customers will have continuous access to their normal office applications.  3G coverage will be expanded continually by Vodafone over the next few years.

Customer trials of Vodafone’s consumer 3G service, which will enhance the Vodafone live! offering, are currently being conducted with selected Vodafone customers across Europe.  Initial customer feedback is positive and Vodafone will introduce a consumer service in the next few months, with an enhanced range of 3G devices and services becoming available later in the year.

Peter Bamford, Chief Marketing Officer, said:
"The announcement of the launch of our 3G services is a major milestone in Vodafone’s 3G journey.  With significantly faster data rates and greater capacity, customers will really start to see and experience the huge benefits of 3G, by being able to do more, faster.  Feedback received from our customers indicates how the card can transform the way they work.

"The benefits of Vodafone’s investment in 3G and the step change in customer experience it brings, will become increasingly evident this year as we introduce new 3G devices and services for both business and consumer customers.  3G will enable Vodafone to drive more mobile minutes, deliver high quality content and entertainment, and enable greater productivity by mobilising business. In introducing our 3G offerings, we will be taking further advantage of our scale and scope and thereby delivering better services to our customers and more value to our shareholders."

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