Ericsson today announced the first live, dual mode WCDMA/GSM calls with seamless handover between the two modes. The demonstration, which was performed for Telia and Hi3G (Hutchison Whampoa), also included high data rate in live WCDMA/GSM networks. The small-sized Sony Ericsson test units used are based on a commercial platform developed by Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

Allowing the user to seamlessly hand over calls between different networks is an important step in the 3G roll out. Handover makes it possible for incumbent operators to expand their 3G networks and offer consumers complete coverage right from the start by combining existing GSM network with the new WCDMA networks.

Ericsson demonstrated WCDMA/GSM end-to-end calls using small-sized handsets in live networks with high-speed data rates up to 384 kbit/s, which is equal to broadband.

The Sony Ericsson test units used are designed for interoperability tests with different networks and as proof of concept for customers using the 3G platform from Ericsson. The mobile platform solution is capable of full WCDMA and GSM/GPRS dual mode, including handover. It also supports a complete set of 3G applications and thus enables the development of small attractive 3G handsets. Power consumption and battery capacity of the handsets used is equal to today’s GSM phones.

“This is a key milestone for our 3G development. It is extremely important for our customers to try our platform integrated in a small-sized handset. Now we can offer mobile phone manufacturers a complete end-to-end-proven WCDMA/GSM dual mode platform,” says Tord Wingren, President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

“Today’s demonstration is an important step for launching our services for mobile moving pictures, which require high data rates. We are indeed confident in Ericsson’s capability to deliver high quality solutions for 3G-services that our customers demand,” says Chris Bannister CEO, Hi3G (Hutchison Whampoa).

Ericsson Mobile Platforms has during the last year constantly proven progress within 3G development by demonstrating WCDMA voice and high data rate calls in live networks. So far Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and LG Electronics have licensed Ericsson’s technology for development of commercial 3G handsets.

“The dual-mode platform from Ericsson Mobile Platforms enables the manufacturers and operators to concentrate on application and service developments and launch products with a secure technical solution. I feel confident that we will launch commercial 3G products as planned,” says Jan W√§reby, Vice President Marketing of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications.