Ericsson passed an important milestone last week when it successfully upgraded Vodafone K.K.'s commercial network in central parts of Tokyo to support High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), as specified in Release 5 of the 3GPP standard, in order to test HSDPA with Vodafone K.K.'s live network.

The software and hardware in the HSDPA-enabled base stations supports downlink bit-rates up to 3.6 Mbps and uplink rates up to 384 Kbps; however, this capability has not been enabled for Vodafone K.K. customers at this time.

The hardware and software upgrades of the first commercial network sites represents a major milestone in the program to offer HSDPA and is the latest in a series of achievements in the HSDPA area between Vodafone K.K. and Ericsson.

The two companies have been jointly performing lab trials of pre-commercial HSDPA equipment since September 2004 and field trials have been continuing since early 2005. These tests have been used to build competence and experience about HSDPA radio network performance, as well as end-user application behaviors in different radio environments.

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