What Capacity Crunch?

9:00 AM -- BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- Amidst the talk at the Mobile World Congress this week about the need for mobile data offload techniques that will free up capacity on mobile operators' increasingly congested 3G networks, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) insists that network capacity is not a problem.

"There is no capacity crunch," says Santiago Tenorio, group head of radio development at Vodafone. "It takes a robust capacity [planning] process and sufficient investment, both of which we do group-wide."

Vodafone hasn't had the network problems that have plagued AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Telefónica UK Ltd. , mainly due to the data deluge from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone users. For Vodafone, the iPhone isn't different from any other smartphone in terms of impact on the network, according to Tenorio. (See Will the Apple iPad Crush 3G Networks?, AT&T: Don't Choke Us, 02 Felt iPhone Crunch Too, and Vodafone's iPhone Envy.)

In an interview with Light Reading TV, Tenorio explained Vodafone's plans for further HSPA+ upgrades this year. The operator has already boosted 3G radio access networks in many markets to have theoretical peak downlink speeds of 21 Mbit/s, which in practice is a peak rate of 16 Mbit/s, he told us.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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