Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Australian operator Telstra will achieve two significant milestones when later this week they launch the world's first 200km cell range in a commercial mobile broadband network and maximum network downlink speeds of 14.4Mbps. This was announced today by Ericsson President and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg and Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Sol Trujillo. These initiatives will further boost network capacity and ensure consistent services as Telstra's customer numbers grow.
Just four months after the launch of Telstra's Next G (TM) network, Ericsson's Extended Range software has been installed in selected mountaintop sites across Australia, supporting all 3G services over extensive geographical areas.
Sol Trujillo said Telstra had displayed global leadership when it built the "turbocharged" Next G (TM) network in just 10 months.
"We are already seeing our customers use these world leading mobile broadband services in ways they have never done before," Trujillo said.
"Since launching Next G (TM) with HSDPA, Telstra has doubled the volume of total data traffic carried on all of its wireless networks. With the new distance upgrades, even some of the most remote customers in outback Australia will be able to see the benefits."
The Ericsson solution enables coverage up to 200km from a base station, a major leap from the 50km range typically supported today. This is particularly important for users who want to take advantage of the high-speed network from remote locations on and off-shore (including ships and oil-rigs).
"Extended Range gives Telstra a unique opportunity to offer ever-improving service capabilities to customers via their mobile devices, data cards, or home-networking services," added Svanberg.
The software upgrade means the Next G (TM) network data capacity has now been tripled. The advanced software employs High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology to achieve peak network speeds of up to 1.9Mbps in the uplink and 14.4Mbps in the downlink. Downlink speeds of 2.3Mbps at a 200km range have also been achieved during testing. This also provides an increase in overall capacity for existing Next G (TM) customers, even in the network's busiest periods.
"These are both world-first achievements on any nationwide wireless network," Trujillo said.
Telstra's Next G (TM) network coverage provides mobile broadband access to 98.8 percent of Australians, covering 1.9 million square kilometres.
Carl-Henric Svanberg said he was pleased to be a founding partner of Telstra's Next G (TM) test bed.
"Ericsson is fully committed to the continued evolution of mobile networks and looks forward to stretching the boundaries of technology," he said.
Already, the Next G (TM) test bed is testing 7.2Mbps data cards for launch in mid-2007 on Telstra's 14.4Mbps capable Next G (TM) network.
"The benefits of 3GSM technology and HSPA could not have been economically taken so extensively to regional and remote Australia without the use of 850 MHz spectrum and the Ericsson software enhancements to extend the range and capacity of the network," Trujillo concluded.
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