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Hutchison Aust 3G supplier labels network 'global trendsetter'

Hutchison 3G Australia's '3' network equipment supplier, Ericsson, has labelled the troubled network a "global trendsetter", saying its dropped call rates had been reduced to levels equivalent to GSM networks. Ericsson's lauding of network performance as "GSM equivalent" came after Hutchison 3G Australia recently announced that it had reduced its dropped call rates from 12 percent at launch to 2 percent and below.

Hutchison 3G Australia's '3' network equipment supplier, Ericsson, has labelled the troubled network a "global trendsetter", saying its dropped call rates had been reduced to levels equivalent to GSM networks.

Ericsson's lauding of network performance as "GSM equivalent" came after Hutchison 3G Australia recently announced that it had reduced its dropped call rates from 12 percent at launch to 2 percent and below.

Ericsson supplies and delivers the integrated infrastructure for the 3 network in Australia and has a managed services agreement that covers all of Hutchison's Australian network operations and maintenance.

According to Tony Malligeorgos, director of marketing and business development for Ericsson Australia, the 3 network is also generating cost savings for Hutchison over 2G delivery of basic services including voice and SMS as well as providing the opportunity to exploit growth in the 3G mobile market across multimedia high speed data services.

Malligeorgos added they are currently trialling HSDPA with several of their key customers globally.

"This increases the available downlink peak data rate to 2Mbit/s in 2006 through to 10 to 14 Mbit/s down the track. A key enabler for mobile broadband, HSDPA offers operators a more than doubled system capacity without requiring any additional radio spectrum or build out of radio coverage," he said.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) announced last September that it will be monitoring Hutchison's 3 network performance starting next year.

Hutchison is expected to start reporting to the ACA in early 2005 on the network's drop-out and congestion performance for voice calls.

Hutchison said recently its monthly churn rates for the 3 business sat "well within industry benchmarks" at 1.1 percent for the period of operation, while the average national dropped voice call rate had declined to two percent due to "network enhancements and improvements in software and network optimisation".

The company said it was on track to complete the peripheral build of more than 200 network sites this year, bringing the total number across the licence areas to 2,000.

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