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3G/HSPA

Telefónica Revs Spanish 3G

10:35 AM -- When the mobile industry descends on Barcelona in February next year for the Mobile World Congress 2010, some visitors to the city just might notice faster 3G connections, because Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has just turned on HSPA+ there and in Madrid. (See Get Ready for MWC 2010.)

Telefónica has upgraded its 3G networks in those cities to support downlink speeds up to 21 Mbit/s and uplink speeds up to 5.7 Mbit/s. And the first devices available on the new network are Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW)'s AirCard USB 307 modems. (See Telefónica Picks Sierra Wireless.)

Sierra's Aircard USB modems are actually available on six HSPA+ networks worldwide. In Spain, the modems cost €19 (US$28) with a monthly service plan of €49 ($73) per month from Telefónica.

But Telefónica isn't the only operator strutting its 3G stuff in Spain. Vodafone España S.A. has also launched HSPA+ in the country.

And then there's Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), which says it plans to launch mobile WiMax services in Malaga and Seville next year under the Clear brand. (See Clearwire Takes WiMax to Spain.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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