3 outlines plans for largest UK mobile broadband network

3 has said that it plans to have the largest UK mobile broadband network by the end of 2010.

The company, which appears to be shifting its focus to data over high end handsets, has said that it plans to have a mobile broadband network in place by Q3 2010 that will offer users 14.4Mbps download speeds and 5.7Mbps upload speeds via HSDPA and HSUPA connections. Currently the market offers speeds of 7.2Mbps.

The company hopes that the high speed network will then pay the way for more data enabled handsets like the new INQ1, launched on Thursday, rather than high-end handsets like the G1 and iPhone.

"The iPhone is a fabulous product, but we want to open the market place up in terms of data on mobiles. We need handsets at a price point that enable us to open that market up", said Kevin Russell, CEO of 3 UK.

The confirmation of the new data network comes as 3 announced the INQ1 a social networking handset that allows people to stay connected with friends on Facebook, Windows Live, Last.fm and Skype.