Vodafone tries out 16Mbps in Spain

Vodafone is running trials of 16Mbps mobile broadband trials in Spain and says it will undertake more with peak speeds of 21Mbps in the early part of this year.

Vodafone is using HSPA+,  a souped up version of the packet access technology - itself a faster incarnation of 3G - supplied by Ericsson and Qualcomm.

The vendors supplied their HSPA+ technology to Telstra, enabling it to offer a 21Mbps service branded Next G.

Vodafone reckons the new technology will allow its customers to download video at more than 13Mbps in good conditions and an average of more than 4Mbps across a varied range of base stations.

Given the mobile industry's penchant for wildly optimistic estimates of transmission rates to end customers, some skepticism is probably helpful here.

If the trials prove a success, Vodafone says it plans to make this technology available in certain networks: at the moment its top speed is 7.2Mbps.