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T-Mobile Praises Flarion

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LR Mobile News Analysis
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4/19/2005
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T-Mobile International AG has lifted the lid on its trial of Flash-OFDM kit from Flarion Technologies, shedding further light on performance of the vendor’s proprietary offering.

In September last year Flarion finally confirmed speculation it had secured a trial with the wireless carrier. Details at the time were vague, with Flarion stating that the trial was being deployed in The Hague, the Netherlands (see T-Mobile Tests Flarion OFDM and T-Mobile Flashes Flarion Trial).

Speaking at the Wireless Broadband Access Conference in London today, T-Mobile’s VP of RAN Engineering, Klaus Juergen Krath, revealed the trial was a “two-phase evaluation project.” An initial technical trial involved the deployment of “a couple of radio routers” in one 1.25MHz channel, while a later market trial extended rollout to 18 cell sites with an enterprise customer base of approximately 200 users.

“The idea was to check their satisfaction level with the service,” says Krath.

A few months on, and T-Mobile is keen to share its findings. The carrier claims the trial achieved average data downlink speeds of 1.5 Mbit/s with a peak of 3.2 Mbit/s. Average uplink speeds were 500 kbit/s, reaching peaks of 900 kbit/s. Average latency was approximately 30 milliseconds.

“It proved the high performance and low latency of the system,” comments Krath. “User experience is very close to the wired LAN... There was no problem at all; the system was very stable and there was no unexpected outage. Feedback from the friendly users was that the package was easy to set up.” [Ed. note: Ah, yes, but what did the unfriendly users have to say?]

Despite the impressive results, Flarion’s Flash-OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology remains a proprietary offering at present, and the vendor is yet to secure its first commercial European carrier deal (see Flarion Goes Faster ). In light of previous close ties, T-Mobile remains a likely contender (see T-Mobile Invests in Flarion and T-Mobile Favors Flarion ).

“We are a UMTS operator, but we are looking into opportunities in niche markets where UMTS is not the technology of choice,” adds Krath. “We see Flarion as an interesting opportunity for us.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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