Vodafone trials tech offering 16Mbps mobile broadband

Forget fixed line broadband, Vodafone is claiming to have successfully developed mobile broadband tech which can reach speeds of 16Mbps much faster than what many consumers receive on their home connections.

Vodafone said the speedy download rate was a hit in trials of HSPA+ 64QAM tech in Spain, adding that it is looking to test data connections at 21Mbps on HSPA+ MIMO later this year. The mobile operator claimed such tech would allow video downloads of 13Mbps in top conditions, with 4Mbps available in cities.

A recent Ofcom report showed most UK broadband users are averaging 3.56Mbps, although new fibre networks could offer speeds of 50Mbps.

HSPA+ follows on from 3G/HSPA tech. Speeds can be increased using 64QAM an improved modulation technique or by boosting the number of antennae on base stations and devices, called multiple input multiple output (MIMO). Using such innovations will require users to have new HSPA+ devices, however.

"Successfully demonstrating a live HSPA+ high speed connection has been a key milestone in continuing to build confidence in this new technology," said Andy MacLeod, global networks director of Vodafone, in a statement.