Having spent billions buying the licence and launching 3G, Vodafone is already looking to the next technology to power its mobile phone service.

The company has joined forces with France's Alcatel, Germany's Siemens, Cingular Wireless of the US and Japan's NTT DoCoMo to develop the next phase in mobile telephony.

Touted as Super 3G, the technology would allow information to be transmitted 10 times faster than the current 3G networks.

Super 3G will be capable of transmitting 30 - 100Mb per second across the network to a mobile phone. These speeds mean that high-end video similar to current DVD technologies would be able to be played on mobiles as long as you were in service.

But don't panic about that 3G phone you've just bought or been given this Christmas, the basic service specifications won't be agreed upon until 2007 and the service itself is unlikely to be available to the public until 2009 at the earliest.