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Voda puts HSDPA phones under Christmas tree

UK-based mobileco Vodafone said on Monday that it would have 24 new HSDPA-enabled 3G devices in the shops in time for Christmas.

As well as loading all the devices with Vodafone Live! services including streaming mobile TV and full track downloads, the mobile giant claims the devices are “smaller and lighter and have a longer battery life” than some of the bulky and power hungry devices already on the market.

Vodafone is also targeting the lower end of the market with a number of its own branded handsets that will be available at lower prices, “thus expanding Vodafone’s 3G consumer services to the mass market.”

Amongst the new portfolio of devices will be six handsets from Motorola and Samsung and a coupe of 3G handsets manufactured for Vodafone by LG for the first time. Five of the Vodafone exclusive devices will be offered at entry level pricing and Vodafone’s first own branded 3G handset – the Vodafone 710 – will be another phone priced at the lower end to encourage further adoption of 3G services amongst the prepay market.

Vodafone’s intention to stimulate demand for 3G among the prepay sector and mass market comes hot on the heels of the GSM Association’s (GSMA) drive to develop a low cost 3G handset.

On Monday, the Association issued a call for vendors to develop a handset that should be capable of sophisticated applications “that can support advanced services, such as high-speed Internet browsing, mobile TV and instant messaging, while costing significantly less than a low-end 3G handset today”.

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