Orange trials 3G rival to WiMax

Orange trials 3G rival to WiMax

Summary: IPWireless' UMTS TDD technology, which could support much faster third-generation mobile services, is getting a run-out in France

TOPICS: Mobility

Orange has begun testing a wireless technology that could allow 3G operators to operate much faster data services.

The mobile firm announced this week that it is trialling IPWireless' UMTS TDD service in France. IPWireless has claimed that this service will provide the same level of performance as WiMax. It could also rival HSDPA, which has been labelled Super 3G.

The trial — one of the first in Europe — will involve companies based in the Lille business area. Orange hopes to test the real-time performance of TDD, including the coverage area and the number of simultaneous users that can be supported.

TDD runs within the 3G, or UMTS, specification.

In Britain, as in many other countries, the operators who won 3G licences were allocated two portions of 'paired bandwidth' called FDD, to be used for voice calls and data services (such as Vodafone's 3G Mobile Connect offering). Most of them also received an extra piece of spectrum, the TDD, which could be used to provide extra network capacity once operators had filled up their FDD allocation.

IPWireless says that TDD can be more than a simple buffer. The company's service uses it as the backbone of a separate high-speed data service that it claims will be faster than is currently possible using FDD.

FDD-based 3G services today typically offer a maximum download speed of 384kbps. The UMTS TDD alliance claims that UMTS TDD could support download speeds of up to 12Mbps. HSDPA, which runs in the FDD band, is said to offer a theoretical maximum of 14Mbps.

Topic: Mobility

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  • Oh great, another 3G trial. It took long enough for these gready companies to get the services operational and to get the handset manufacturers to bring out corresponding phones. But how long will it take for the prices to come down, down to almost free.

    I can get free internet access at my local library, I have cable broadband at home so why would i use my buggy, comparatively slow, minutely screened, mini-memory, finger-tipped keypad of a surfing machine to PAY for some music that only gets on peoples nerves?!

    The best mobile web-service I can think of is to auto-sync with my PayPal account to wirelessly pay for taxis, busses and vending machines. And auto-sync with my calendar and email, not much else - oh and all internet usage has to be relatively free 1p -> 0p per request or something (infact i should get paid for using it).
  • 12 Mbps with HSDPA, 14 Mbps with this technology, all sounds great in theory, particularly for the hardware manufacturers, but why do you want 12 Mbps on a mobile phone, another interesting thing is that, all that is required from the operators point of view is a free or minimal cost software upgrade, for us poor users, it means shelling out shedloads of cash for new handsets or other hardware, I'm going to hold onto my trusty GSM/GPRS mobile for as long as I can (while it works) as it does just what I need i.e. it works as a PHONE!