Vodafone will share its high-speed HSDPA+MIMO technology with Bite, the Latvian mobile operator. Tests show that this (for all practical purposes) 3.5 G technology can achieve data rates of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps). Fred Hrenchuk, who heads Bite Latvia told the LETA news agency the technology could be tested in Latvia later this year or in early 2010.
If the high speed link (to be deployed in urban areas with intensive business use) is implemented, it will be the fastest mobile internet technology in the Baltics. Tele2, another regional and pan-European player, has offered 21 Mbps HSDPA in Sweden.
A new technology also stirs up the market competition, which has, of late, drifted into competing quasi flat-rate low pricing schemes with similar marketing ("call your bunny rabbit, talk all you want to your honeybunch) and that sort of thing.
For me, the most significant thing about this is that it is yet another signal that Bite (the Bite Group including Lithuania) is probably being fattened for a takeover by Vodafone at some point. Why else would the global mobile services player be sharing its best toys with the rapidly maturing kid on the Baltic block? Sort of like the Latvian folk song about waiting for the girl across the river to grow up, so she can be married. Did I get that right? Or something to that effect...