Optus completes 900MHz mobile trial

The nation's number two telco Optus has completed a trial in NSW of a 900MHz mobile network in partnership with Chinese network vendor Huawei. Optus's third-generation (3G) mobile network uses the 2100MHz frequency in city areas, but the SingTel subsidiary has been experimenting with the UMTS900 equipment due to the lower frequency's potential to offer greater range in the bush.

The nation's number two telco Optus has completed a trial in NSW of a 900MHz mobile network in partnership with Chinese network vendor Huawei.

Optus's third-generation (3G) mobile network uses the 2100MHz frequency in city areas, but the SingTel subsidiary has been experimenting with the UMTS900 equipment due to the lower frequency's potential to offer greater range in the bush.

"Within three months of agreeing to the trial, Huawei and Optus built and tested a UMTS900 network. The trial involved a myriad of Optus and Huawei staff and is an achievement that we are very proud of. In particular, Huawei were able to deliver in the timeframe we required," the telco's director of Mobile Products, Henry Calvert, said in a statement issued this morning by Huawei.

Despite choosing Huawei for the trial, an Optus spokesperson told ZDNet Australia the vendor would not automatically win more work if Optus decided to go ahead and deploy a 900MHz network. The construction of such a network would be put out in a formal tender process, they said.

Huawei had been chosen for the trial because the pair had worked together on past projects, the spokesperson added.

"Optus plans further technical trials of the UMTS900 network in the central west town of Dubbo over the coming months and is expected to make a decision on the technology later in 2007," Huawei's statement said.

Rival telco Telstra used the 850MHz spectrum when it constructed its nationwide Next G 3G mobile network last year.

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