Data connections over mobile networks are still on track to get considerably faster over the next year with the announcement that 3, the mobile phone operator, has successfully finished the first phase of its trial of the new High Speed Downlink Packet Access ("HSDPA") technology on its 3G network in the UK.

The news comes hot on the heels of Vodafone's announcement last week that it would be starting trials within the M25.

3's trial, which has been running for the last four months, has already delivered speeds of up to 1.4MB per second, over three times faster than current 3G speeds and more than 40 times faster than GPRS.

The first voice and data downloads on HSDPA were performed over 3's network in Maidenhead.

The trial, conducted on Nokia and NEC infrastructure, will be extended to selected urban areas in May and 3 will implement HSDPA in its commercial network in the second half of 2006.