European Cellphones to Get Faster Data

T-Mobile International, Deutsche Telekom's mobile division, will launch the new HSDPA high-speed mobile service in four European countries by March to improve Internet speed on mobile phones.

HSDPA is a special version of third generation (3G) mobile phone services, offering data speed which allows clients to watch television on mobile phones and is even faster than many fixed-line broadband connections.

"High-speed 3G will be available wherever T-Mobile already offers 3G coverage," T-Mobile Chief Executive Rene Obermann said at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. T-Mobile has 3G services in Germany, Britain, Austria and the Netherlands.

The new service, also dubbed the "data turbo," will deliver transmission rates of up to 1.8 megabits per second initially, and 7.2 megabits per second eventually, Obermann said. Typical DSL fixed-line broadband delivers 1 megabit per second.

T-Mobile will also launch a new subscription plan in Germany called mobile@home, designed to fully replace a fixed-line connection at home, mimicking a popular plan offered by rival O2's German arm.

Subscribers of mobile@home will pay the much lower call fees used in fixed-line networks if their mobile phones are detected to be in their homes.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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