Vodafone, Nortel announce 3G trials

Panasonic end-user terminals are 'actually functioning at this moment'

Vodafone (quote: VOD) has teamed up with Nortel Networks to trial 3G wireless radio and IP networking technologies, the companies announced Monday.

The trials will take place in London early next year.

Nortel and Panasonic will be providing the radio equipment, core data network and terminals for the trial. The two companies last year formed an alliance to develop 3G solutions. Nortel will supply its Multiservice Passport Platform IP data connection to interconnect the trial equipment to a selection of corporate intranets and the Internet.

A Nortel spokesman said that the significance of this trial was that the Panasonic end-user terminals were "actually functioning at this moment", instead of the simulated devices used in other trials.

Vodafone said that among the data and voice services it would be trialling would be a mobile phone with a built-in camera and video screen utilising the MPEG 4 codec, capable of transmitting and receiving data at up to 64kbit/s. Other planned trial devices include pocket-sized voice terminals, wireless modems and an unnamed mobile data device offering transmission speeds of up to 384kbit/s.

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