Friday, October 06, 2006

Vodafone running away from 3G


I had no idea how true my last post on the GSM/HSDPA topic would turn out. See this article.

Margins are higher on 2G handsets. Margins are higher on 2G service. Vodafone needs to make money right about now, so 3G is not their focus. No wonder I didn't see any 3G handsets out in the Vodafone store (see picture) when I popped in, nor did they have the Motorola V3x out to see. You'd think the RAZR design plus 3G capabilities would be flying off the shelves? Nope. They had it on a sheet of paper somewhere on a wall and didn't have it out to see.

Meanwhile, in a different universe, T-Mobile USA just announced they're spending $6b on deploying an incompatible version of HSDPA, which uses 1700mhz/2100mhz. The 2100mhz, btw, is not the same band used in Europe. It just happens to be in the 21xx mhz range.

Now why on earth a company would spend $6b on an incompatible format of HSDPA is beyond me, but that's what T-Mobile is doing. I wish them luck. Even CDMA vendors in the US have a better roaming strategy. They deploy on 850/1900mhz, which is used pretty much everywhere they use CDMA, except Japan and parts of Eastern Europe (450mhz).

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