NSN Touts Tier 1 4G Trials

Nokia Siemens boasts of LTE engagements at NTT DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless, and trots off a host of new announcements at Nokia's Capital Markets day

December 4, 2007

3 Min Read
NSN Touts Tier 1 4G Trials

Nokia Networks came sprinting out the news traps Tuesday with a slew of announcements at the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) Capital Markets gathering in Amsterdam, including talk of next generation mobile infrastructure engagements with wireless trendsetters NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) and Verizon Wireless .

NSN says its partner Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. , with which it is developing LTE (Long Term Evolution) base station products, has been chosen for DoCoMo's Super 3G (LTE) Base Station project. (See DoCoMo Does LTE With NSN.)

DoCoMo announced earlier this year it had begun trials of LTE -- one of the technologies generically referred to as 4G, along with WiMax and CDMA DO (data only) Revision C -- in its labs, and expects to see such next generation technology deployed commercially in the 2011-2012 timeframe. (See DoCoMo Tests 'Super 3G'.)

LTE, which is still in standards development work at 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) , is the next high-speed mobile data technology step beyond the HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) 3G systems being deployed by mobile operators worldwide, and is emerging as the 4G technology of choice among major wireless operators. (See 3G LTE: How Far? How Fast?.)

Nokia executives told Capital Markets Day attendees that it has also been selected as one of four vendors for Verizon Wireless's LTE trial. (See Verizon Goes LTE and Nokia Applauds Verizon LTE Plans.)

For NSN, working with DoCoMo -- albeit via a third party and in early lab trials -- is a positive step, as the Japanese carrier is regarded as one of the world's wireless service trendsetters.

In December 2001 DoCoMo became the first mobile operator to launch a large-scale commercial 3G service, dubbed FOMA, and was at the forefront of mobile Internet service development with its i-mode service. Panasonic is one of DoCoMo's 3G infrastructure suppliers. (See I-Mode a No-Go for Euros? and Panasonic Ships FOMA Kit.)

NSN and Panasonic are by no means the only vendors pushing their LTE credentials. (See AlcaLu, LG Make LTE Calls, AlcaLu Tests 4G, Anite, Agilent Test LTE, Nortel Expands 4G Research, Ericsson Demos LTE, and Zafirovski: We'll Get 4G Right.)

In addition to its LTE announcement, NSN also rubbed its crystal ball, predicting that carrier network traffic will increase 100-fold by 2015, by which time more than 5 billion people will be connected to communications networks. (See NSN Tackles Future Demand.)

NSN also sees the continuation of the "fierce price pressure" that has caused it, and its main rivals, some financial problems since its inception in April this year. (See NSN Improves, Confirms Extra Cuts, Nokia Siemens Suffers Merger Blues, Profit Warning Slams Ericsson , Ericsson CFO Steps Down, AlcaLu: Pressure Is Still On, and AlcaLu's Russo: We're Under Attack!.)

In addition, the vendor announced two contract awards –- an IMS core systems deal at Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT) and a fixed network outsourcing deal at Finland's DNA Palvelut Oy –- and unveiled its Communication Key, a USB device with integrated SIM authentication that enables people to make VOIP calls from their PCs across a mobile operator's core network. (See NSN Wins IMS Deal, and NSN to Run DNA's Network, and NSN Unveils Comms Key.)

The idea is not new -- BridgePort Networks Inc. has been touting its MobileStick for some years, and struck a partnership with Siemens Communications Group before it became part of NSN. (See BridgePort Intros MobileStick, Eurobites: What's Up With Wireless?, and Siemens Resells BridgePort.)

NSN, though, says the Communication Key's software has been developed in-house, by the Nokia Networks team historically, and that only the development of the physical USB device has involved an external partner.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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