Venezuelan mobile operator Movistar has launched commercial 3G/3.5G services based on W-CDMA/HSPA technology in the greater Caracas area, the company said in a statement, quoted by BNamericas. The cellco, a subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica, is initially focusing on HSPA-based mobile broadband internet and data transmission services, but plans to increase the number of value added services on offer as well as expand HSPA coverage nationwide. Movistar Venezuela has invested VEB55 million (USD25.6 million) in the first phase of the 3.5G rollout and plans to spend a further VEB225 million in spreading the service across the country, its vice president of networks, Juan Comerma said. To provide nationwide coverage, Movistar expects to deploy approximately 1,000 UMTS base stations. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Movistar Venezuela launched commercial 3G services based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology in 26 of Venezuela’s biggest urban areas in December 2005, and expanded 3G coverage to over 55% of the population and more than 30 cities by the end of 2007, in response to high demand for mobile internet/data access in the country. In December 2006 it soft launched a GSM network in selected areas, with wider commercial GSM coverage achieved in the first quarter of 2007. Since then, it has seen rapid client migration from its CDMA2000-based platforms to GSM-based services. Movistar currently offers the following UMTS 3G-capable mobile devices: the BlackBerry Bold 9000; Palm Treo 750; Nokia N95, N95 8GB, N78, 3120, 3555, 5610, 5320, E71, 6555i; Motorola Z9 and V9 Ferrari; HTC TNT II; Sony Ericsson K850i, W760, Z750a; and Apple’s iPhone 3G.
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