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SmarTone-Vodafone Launches 3G Mobile Broadband Service with full HSDPA
7th June , 2006

ASIA Hong Kong : SmarTone-Vodafone announced the launch of full High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network in Hong Kong and Hong Kong’s first commercial HSDPA-enabled service, SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Broadband.

“We are pleased to be the first operator in Hong Kong to offer Mobile Broadband with full HSDPA coverage throughout the territory. This launch represents what real 3G can achieve and demonstrates how 3G with HSDPA can bring substantially better benefits to both business users and consumers through our Mobile Broadband service.”
Full HSDPA coverage in Hong Kong

SmarTone-Vodafone’s 2G and 3G networks set the benchmark for coverage and quality. The company leads the market again in launching territory-wide HSDPA network to deliver high-speed data services. HSDPA is being adopted by over 100 networks in 49 countries internationally.

SmarTone-Vodafone’s HSDPA network provides a data speed of 1.8Mbps, 5 times faster than that of 3G and 20 times faster than GPRS. SmarTone-Vodafone is planning to upgrade to a maximum speed of 14.4 Mbps by 2007/08.

SmarTone-Vodafone offers the most roaming destinations around the world amongst all Hong Kong operators, with 24 HSDPA roaming destinations, 63 3G roaming destinations and 136 2.5G roaming destinations.

SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Broadband
With full HSDPA coverage all over Hong Kong, SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Broadband liberates customers so they can do business their way. It now delivers true broadband speed of up to 1.8Mbps to laptops, and provides customers with true mobility and real freedom wherever they go.

SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Broadband comes with a Vodafone Mobile Connect HSDPA/3G/GPRS datacard, and a dashboard that allows customers easy control of services, and two service plans: the Flexi Plan and the Contract Plan, to meet different usage needs.

The Flexi Plan adopts a new Pay as You Go concept, offering customers simplicity, flexibility and great value for both regular and occasional users. It requires no registration and no contract, and it offers one-rate for local data usage without the worry of high thereafter charges. With a minimum value as low as $100 per month, customers can enjoy one rate local data usage at 50MB per $100 and one rate roaming worldwide at $0.12 per KB. Every recharge extends usage for 30 days. This provides a true value-for-money price plan that encourages a much wider use of mobile broadband amongst both business users and consumers.

The Contract Plan of $488 per month gives customers unlimited local data usage*. Similar to the Flexi Plan, customers can enjoy one rate roaming worldwide at $0.12 per KB. To address the concern of expense control for roaming, flexible control measures are specially designed for business customers with preset and adjustable spending limits and a PC-based tool for easy administration. For the Contract Plan, an additional option of paying for roaming by prepaid recharge is also available.

A number of easy and convenient ways to recharge are offered to users: prepaid recharge vouchers, credit cards, ATM, as well as PPS via phone and Internet. Prepaid recharge vouchers are available at all SmarTone-Vodafone stores and over 800 signaged outlets, and voucher recharge is activated by customers through SMS.

Available at all SmarTone-Vodafone stores and over 250 computer dealers and retail stores, the Flexi Starter Kit retails at $2,388 and includes the Vodafone Mobile Connect HSDPA/3G/GPRS datacard, a CD ROM for loading the dashboard software and an instruction leaflet. An introductory offer of free $500 usage is also included. The Contract Starter Kit retails at $2,388, and is available for sale exclusively at SmarTone-Vodafone stores.

*18-month contract and subject to Acceptable Usage Policy
SmarTone-Vodafone also launched today other new services targeted at Hong Kong’s business users and travelers.

SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Email
SmarTone-Vodafone Mobile Email offers the world’s top three push email solutions: BlackBerry® from Vodafone, Vodafone Business Email and Windows Mobile® Email. These solutions best cater for the different needs of different customers, taking into consideration their email systems, scale of email installation, hosting arrangement for email systems and their device preferences. Supported by the widest selection of Handheld Business Devices from leading brands including BlackBerry, Dopod, O2, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Treo, SmarTone-Vodafone offers all customers their best choice.

SmarTone-Vodafone also launched the BlackBerry® 8707v from Vodafone which is the first 3G BlackBerry in Hong Kong, and offers roaming to Japan and Korea. With its sleek new look, the BlackBerry® 8707v enables customers faster downloads of attachments and 3G modem connection for laptops. It also provides a unique homepage summarising the latest incoming communications and has an improved full QWERTY keyboard for easier typing.

Plus
Based on the latest customer feedback and research, SmarTone-Vodafone also launched a new portal, in addition to SmarTone iN!, called Plus, to enable customers to have easier and quicker access to the latest news and to better stay on top of their investments. Plus includes improved and more frequent news and financial information updates, free calls worldwide to the Plus Helpdesk and better value quotation services.
Plus also provides new optional off-portal services, giving customers a lifeline when they travel. These services range from call screening while overseas to automatic on-line phonebook backup, and from car pickup reservation services to medical evacuation in emergencies. Plus provides real answers to customer needs, for them to manage their life better and enjoy greater peace of mind when traveling.
“All of these new products and services arose from in-depth customer feedback and research. Leveraging on the latest technology and an uncompromised approach to quality, SmarTone-Vodafone ensures that its customers never have to compromise in their businesses,” added Mr. Li.

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