Nokia begins volume deliveries of 800 and 1900 MHz GSM/EDGE infrastructure, breaking ground for 3G services in the US

January 10, 2002

Major milestone is reached as Nokia becomes the first 3G vendor to ship EDGE network hardware in volumes.

Nokia has initiated volume shipments of commercial GSM/EDGE hardware to the US, the first such deliveries from any telecommunications vendor. The deliveries involve GSM/EDGE hardware for two major American operators, Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless, making these operators the first to implement the EDGE-based standard for the delivery of 3G services to their customers.

Further, deliveries for European and Asian operators in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies are expected to commence in a few weeks' time.

"The commitments made to the deployment of EDGE by these leading carriers and others elsewhere in the world make it clear that EDGE is key to the creation of 3G services in the global wireless industry," says Timothy Eckersley, Senior Vice President, Nokia Networks. "As the only true global standard, GSM is the most widely adopted mobile technology in the world today, giving mobile consumers the possibility to enjoy seamless services and unparalleled innovation. EDGE is an important step in the evolution of this technology, allowing carriers to begin offering 3G services well ahead of other competing technologies. EDGE will enhance the spectrum efficiency of current GSM networks 3-4 fold and will enable data rates up to 473 kbps for GSM/GPRS subscribers."

"The constant evolution within GSM/EDGE for voice also boosts the network voice capacity and quality," continued Eckersley. "Adaptive Multirate codec (AMR) over GSM, and later over EDGE, keeps GSM in the lead for cost-efficient voice service. EDGE is clearly an excellent choice for operators to offer 3G services in the fast-growing GSM market, whether increasing the capacity of existing GSM/GPRS networks or creating a smooth migration path from legacy TDMA systems."

EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution) features are part of the GSM specification defined by ETSI and 3GPP. Nokia's EDGE radio-network solution uses technology that leverages the radio spectrum of GSM to provide data rates as high as 473 kbps. The more efficient use of radio spectrum by GSM/EDGE will allow operators to optimize their available spectrum. As part of a global standard, EDGE brings the same benefits of global roaming and economies of scale that GSM brings.

Since 1999, Nokia has been delivering EDGE-capable UltraSite EDGE and MetroSite EDGE base stations. Adding EDGE to these base stations requires only a simple upgrade, and in the case of 800 MHz and 1900 MHz networks, typically only a software upgrade is needed.

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