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3G/HSPA

Broadband Smorgasbord

It's a broadband smorgasbord this week. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) reported first-quarter results and is clearly on a roll with increased revenues and profits and is bullish on broadband. Meanwhile, Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s mobile business, Orange, more than tripled its mobile broadband customer base (that is, EDGE and UMTS subscribers) to 7.2 million at the end of the first quarter, compared to 2.2 million in the first quarter last year. (See Ericsson Delivers in Q1 and Carrier Scorecard: Orange.)

Elsewhere, European service providers with broadband wireless licenses deliberate on whether to deploy fixed or mobile WiMax.

Broadband traffic doubles
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) president and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg said in a statement when his company reported its results: "Fixed and mobile data traffic accelerates and we have seen a doubling of traffic in mobile broadband networks over the last six months. User generated content is becoming a main traffic driver, with YouTube as a current example of a popular, capacity demanding, service. As a consequence, transmission is quickly becoming a bottleneck in many networks."

Well, he would say that. (See Ericsson Reports 1Q07.)

They're gonna put me in the movies
And here's an example of user-generated traffic. Orange UK has launched a mobile video talent competition, called Play-Off. Users with TV-enabled handsets record their 15 seconds of fame and MMS it to Orange, then other Orange users vote for their favorite videos in a series of play-offs. Just remember: "All I gotta do is act natcherly!"

To D or E? That is the question
Newly licensed WiMax operators in Germany, including Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), are checking out equipment suppliers. But they can't decide whether to go for fixed or mobile, 802.16d or 802.16e. (See Euro WiMax RFPs Heat Up.)

Quote of the Week
"None of us have the guts to say, OK we're going to do [VOIP]. So, we're watching each other to see who will have VOIP first," said Ali Afrashteh, vice president of access technologies at Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology's London WiMax conference.

— The Staff, Unstrung

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