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O2 Caps Mobile Broadband Speeds to 128Kbps!

Posted: 09th Apr, 2008 By: MarkJ
Regular readers will know that we have a list of 'Mobile Broadband' (3G) packages HERE, though the entry for O2 has long been devoid of an upload and download speed simply because their public information isn't especially clear. It's now emerged that part of the reason for this might be because O2 secretly restricts their 3G data connections to just 128Kbps, which is well below the 3G (UTMS) standard of 384Kbps.

Reports claim that, by default, a 3G sim with data but no voice will offer a maximum of 384Kbps, while a 3G sim with data + voice (e.g. Smartphone) will have a maximum of 128Kbps. O2 has since issued The Register with a statement confirming the situation:

"O2 provides data speeds of 128Kb/s as standard to all 3G customers. Profiles of corporate customers who require higher speeds are modified so that they can benefit from speeds of 384Kb/s."

O2's rivals have all been offering downstream speeds of 384Kbps since the technology was first introduced (network quality allowing). Indeed many have since upgraded to HSPA (3.5G) and are now capable of offering speeds up to 7.2Mbps. O2 are also understood to be upgrading their network to HSPA, though quite what performance customers can expect as a result is unclear.

In related news one of O2's rivals, Three (3), claims to have seen a 700% increase in data traffic since introducing its cheaper HSPA based Mobile Broadband packages last year. Average data throughput on the network rose to 1400Mbps by February 2008, a steep rise from 200Mbps when the offer was introduced during October 2007.
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