Vodafone K.K. announces today that from early September 2005 it will market a new version of its currently available VC701SI Vodafone Connect Card (manufactured by SII) with upgraded firmware*1 to let customers roam on W-CDMA networks overseas at high packet transmission speeds of up to 384kbps for downlinks (on a best effort basis*2). Marking a first in Japan*3, this upgrade will enable customers to enjoy mobile internet access abroad on PCs or PDAs using 3G data cards. The Vodafone Connect Card, which is currently available as the W-CDMA (3G) compatible VC701SI CompactFlash® (Type II) data card terminal, was launched in April 2004 exclusively for data usage in Japan, is popular among individuals and business customers in particular.
With this upgrade, Vodafone Connect Card can be used on W-CDMA networks in 18 countries and regions in Europe and Asia (on the networks of 20 mobile operators), to support the mobile communications of customers going abroad for business trips. For easy connections while roaming abroad and enhanced ease-of-use, the upgraded Vodafone Connect Card comes bundled with Roaming Tool software (which supports Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XP and Mac OS X).
From early September 2005, Vodafone K.K. will send CD-ROM upgrades, which contain the Firmware Upgrade Tool and Roaming Tool, to all customers currently using the VC701SI. The same software tools are also scheduled to be available for download from SII?fs website in early September.
Vodafone K.K. announced on 11 July that it would revise the price plans* for the Vodafone Connect Card on 1 August. With the launch of this international roaming service, Vodafone K.K. will further enhance convenience for Vodafone Connect Card customers.
For further information on international roaming service areas for Vodafone Connect Card, packet communication fees, and Roaming Tool usage, please see the attached appendices.
*1 Program that is embedded into hardware to conduct basic operations.
*2 Depending on the service area used in, communication speed may be a maximum 128kbps (max. 64kbps in some cases). Since the service is based on a best effort system, speeds may be slower or be disconnected depending on degree of network congestion and usage environment. 64K digital data communications are not supported for overseas use.
*3 As of 26 July 2005 (source: Vodafone K.K.)
*4 Free communication allowances included with price plans, mail and web discount services, and other discount services are not applicable to international roaming communications.
For additional information, please contact:
Vodafone K.K. Public Relations
Tel: +81 3 6403 2506
Mobile: +81 90 6010 4034