EDGE networks coming to the UK this year?

Nokia taps nose with finger in a knowing way...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Nokia taps nose with finger in a knowing way...

EDGE networks - the mobile piggy-in-the-middle between GPRS and 3G networks - could be coming to the UK soon, according to a Nokia exec.

EDGE, also known as 2.75G, has been deployed in a number of European countries - including Belgium, France and Poland - but has yet to make its way to the UK.

Traditionally, operators have been sceptical of deploying the technology, having already leapfrogged EDGE in terms of speed with 3G.

However, according to Robin Lindahl, Nokia's VP of radio networks, UK operators are expressing interest in rolling out EDGE.

He said: "We have been talking to all the leading operators... all of them have an interest in EDGE today. It's becoming an interesting topic. You'll see UK [announcements] coming out pretty soon."

Lindahl puts the change of heart down to the realisation that 100 per cent 3G coverage may not come to pass.

He said: "They're not going to build 3G in every corner of the country," leaving EDGE to build a speed bridge when subscribers go outside 3G network coverage. Lindahl added: "If you have HSDPA [super 3G], you start to get used to 1Mbps... then you fall back to GPRS and many of the 3G services - you can't run them on GPRS."

He continued: "With this phase, we have reached the same performance in EDGE as you with have with W-CDMA today. This becomes a critical part of [operators'] 3G strategy. We see many operators in the early phase of 3G who didn't want to talk about EDGE - they saw it as a competing technology. Now they say 'Yes, it makes sense, yes, we want to do it.'"

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