… has USB modem for all

The much anticipated Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem is a simple version of the company’s established 3G broadband data card for users who don’t have a PC Card slot – notably those with Apple MacBook laptops.
This is the first USB wireless broadband modem to be launched in the UK, says Vodafone, which is claiming download speeds of around 1.4Mbps.

Vodafone boasts the largest 3G data card market share, the fastest 3G network for downloads, and a guarantee that all 3G areas will be upgraded to 3G broadband (HSDPA) by next summer.

The ‘fastest network’ claim is based on independent tests of five 3G networks commissioned by Vodafone in October 2006; they resulted in an average measured speed of 1080Kbps for Vodafone, with the next best coming in at 869Kbps. Tests were conducted in locations around Central London, so the results say nothing about geographical variability around the country; still, Vodafone is proud of the results.

The USB Modem will be £49 with a Data Unlimited tariff (£45 per month) or £99 with Data 250 (£25 per month but only the first 250MB of traffic is free). Vodafone’s ‘fair usage’ policy caps at 1GB.