Agilent aims to make 3G mobile communications a reality

Agilent unveils two independent and receiver-based drive test solutions for cdma2000 and W-CDMA, which can help resolve sources of wireless network problems so as to accelerate deployment of 3G services.by William TseHONG KONG, 29 June 2000 - Inspired by the phenomenal growth in the wireless industry, third generation (3G) systemsfor global communications are now being deployed.

Agilent unveils two independent and receiver-based drive test solutions for cdma2000 and W-CDMA, which can help resolve sources of wireless network problems so as to accelerate deployment of 3G services.
by William Tse

HONG KONG, 29 June 2000 - Inspired by the phenomenal growth in the wireless industry, third generation (3G) systems for global communications are now being deployed. These systems will bring new challenges to product development, manufacturing, deployment and operation environments.

In an interview with ZDNetAsia, Eric McHenry, general manager, Agilent's Wireless Network Solutions, and Franklin So, market segment manager, Wireless Solution Units, Agilent Asia, said that Agilent is prepared to provide the design tools, test equipment and consulting services to meet these challenges and make 3G a reality.

"In fact, Agilent is the first company to offer a platform for both code division multiple access 2000 (cdma2000) and wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) receiver-based drive test," they said.

Mobile computing provokes e-commerce

Asian economies are reviving now and the Internet is an essential key to this revival. The Web is changing every aspect of our lives, but no area is undergoing as rapid and significant a change as the way businesses operate.

As businesses incorporate Internet technology into their core business processes, they start to achieve real business value. Today, companies large and small are using the Web to communicate with their partners, to connect with their backend data systems, and to transact commerce.

According to Forrester, the e-commerce sales turnover will increase from approximately US$400 billion in 2000 to over $1000 billion in 2003. Gartner Group predicts that the global value of e-commerce will be around $7.3 trillion in 2004.

These are amazing projections. Nonetheless, to facilitate the approach of the e-commerce era, more and more businesses are paying close attention to mobile computing.

With the availability of 3G mobile phones by the end of the year or by early 2001, it is no longer a dream that people can always be connected to the Web and thus read real-time online magazines and newspapers, make investments and banking transactions, have video conference, and of course, chat on the cellular phone.

"The next generation mobile phone will feature new converged applications, becoming a Web-based contact center with voice, video and data collaboration. 3G technology can integrate voice, video and data in one converged mobile phone, which means that users can benefit from lower total cost of ownership and lower operational costs by the continuing price cut in cellular phone and service charges," said McHenry.

Asia Pacific vs United States
Without doubt, the mobile Internet revolution will be happening all over the world. In Asia Pacific, both McHenry and So deemed that Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea and China will be the first batch of countries to start the mobile revolution.

"Japan is leading in 3G technology and China is the largest and most potential market for 3G and wireless products. Other countries like Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are quite well prepared for the implementation of 3G network infrastructure," said So.

However, compared to Asia Pacific, the United States seems to be lagging behind in this trend. It is reported that the US may start CDMA implementation by 2003. In response to this, McHenry said that there is no urgency for US customers to shift to 3G mobile phones.

"Most of the US users are quite satisfied with the current infrastructure and services. We have a very good TDMA infrastructure in the United States. And unlike many Asian Pacific and European countries, the charges for wireless communications in the States are so low that it is so convenient and economical to use mobile phones instead of wired phone systems. Besides, there is almost no charge for Internet access and the PC penetration rate is very high in the States. Therefore, TDMA will continue to be prevailing, because there is no immediate need to shift to 3G technology," he said.

Agilent's new wireless 3G solutions
However, in response to the global trend of 3G mobile technologies, Agilent has newly unveiled two independent and receiver-based drive test solutions for cdma2000 and W-CDMA, which can help resolve sources of wireless network problems so as to speed deployment of 3G services.

"They are a necessity for industry's carriers to compete in today's growing wireless market," said McHenry.

Both receiver-based drive test solutions are based on Agilent's second-generation (2G) test platform used by the leading carriers in the industry. This cross technology capability allows 2G customers to migrate to 3G technologies smoothly.

For example, carriers can use the W-CDMA receiver-based drive test solution to quickly troubleshoot base station timing and drift errors by measuring the chip offsets of each sector of a base station. Besides, they can also use the cdma2000 receiver-based drive test solution to identify common network problems such as pilot pollution and multi-path using the network independent receiver measurements.

McHenry added that the drive test platform can evaluate both 2G and 3G networks simultaneously from the same laptop PC, maximizing each drive test. This portable, rugged drive test platform facilitates pedestrian and in-building testing.

"Service providers are focused on delivering the best experience to their mobile customers with a variety of voice and data/Internet-based services," said McHenry. "As our customers migrate their networks to deliver these new services, we intend to provide them with the tools and services necessary to speed deployment of these new 3G networks," he continued.

A complete receiver/phone based solution for cdma2000 and W-CDMA is also planned for future release.

www.zdnetasia.com
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