Hutch plans 7Mbps mobiles
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Hutchison Telecoms plans to launch an HDSPA (high-speed downlink packet access) mobile system theoretically capable of speeds of 3.6 megabits
per second of in March or April next year, MD Kevin Russell told a media and analyst briefing yesterday.

 The service will apparently be linked to Telstra’s HDSPA 850 network, now being rolled out across Australia and set to eventually replace Telstra’s
current GSM and CDMA mobile operations. Telstra now shares Hutch’s 3G network.

While the HDSPA system is technically capable of 3.6 Mbps, Russell said heexpected available handsets would see it initially constrained to about
1Mbps. But he forecast speeds of 7.2Mbps by 2007 and possibly 14.4Mbps bymid 2009.

Russell said the faster speeds would allow Hutchison to offer a morefixed-type wireless broadband service over the 3G network. Analysts quoted by ZDNet yesterday were speculating that it might partner with wireless operator Unwired which is moving into WiMax with a $37 million cash
injection from Intel.

Russell said Hutchison plans to trial DVB-H (digital video broadcasting:handhelds) services in Australia later this the year, possibly with
Broadcast Australia.

He also raised the possibility of a future Hutchison VoIP offering, perhaps in partnership with IP telephony leader Skype. However, it could be several years before his company could capitalise on the opportunities, he said.