Accessing data on the road is about to get a whole lot faster if Vodafone has its way. The company announced today that following successful testing in Newbury, it will start customer trials on its live HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network from April.

According to the mobile phone operator, 100 lucky business users will test Vodafone UK's HSDPA-enabled Mobile Connect Cards across central and greater London.

HSDPA promises to be the next evolution in mobile phone technology with the ability to offer data speeds roughly four times faster than current 3G connections.

"We have seen high demand for 3G since its launch 2 years ago and our customers are hungry for the improvements that HSDPA will deliver", said Tim Miles, CEO Vodafone UK.

The company has stated that after the initial 100 it hopes to roll out the service in the UK from mid-2006.

"HSDPA offers a win-win opportunity for both customers and Vodafone - it delivers on the promise of 3G to provide broadband-like services whilst on the move", comments Michael Ransom, Research Director for Wireless at Current Analysis.

From mid-2006, Vodafone will phase in the introduction of a high-speed mobile broadband service using HSDPA.

Customers within the M25 will be the first to benefit with coverage rolling out across all major UK towns and cities by the end of 2006.