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Optical/IP

IPWireless Scores at T-Mobile

Alternative infrastructure provider IPWireless Inc. has confirmed a high-profile commercial win at T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s., a deal flagged by Unstrung last month (see IPWireless Talks Up Deals).

Founded in April 1999, IPWireless has developed a high-speed, time-division duplex (TDD) data system that conforms to universal mobile telecommunications standards (UMTS) but -- unlike standard frequency-division duplex (FDD) 3G cellular systems -- uses unpaired spectrum, sending and receiving data on one channel rather than two (OCRTT).

Most European 3G license holders were allocated a tranche of TDD spectrum when they acquired UMTS licenses. T-Mobile’s Czech subsidiary plans to launch services in the capital city of Prague by “year-end,” using the unpaired 1.9GHz UMTS spectrum band. This will be followed by “nationwide coverage” in “more than 85 cities,” with services deployed in the 872MHz spectrum band by summer 2006 (see T-Mobile Deploys IPWireless).

The carrier has a total subscriber base of approximately 4.4 million customers. IPWireless declined to reveal financial details of the deal.

Today’s announcement is the first commercial European deployment for IPWireless with a Tier 1 carrier name. The vendor has previously announced trials with Orange France (Paris: OGE) and Sonae.com SGPS SA in Portugal, and commercial deals at the likes of Airdata AG and PCCW Ltd.'s (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008) subsidiary UK Broadband Ltd. (See Orange Trials IPWireless, Sonaecom Trials IPWireless, Airdata Goes With IPWireless, and IPWireless Powers PCCW.)

T-Mobile was unable to provide comment by press time. A joint statement is, however, keen to stress that the carrier will continue with its planned 3G deployments. “T-Mobile Czech Republic will also enhance its 3G offering by introducing the next generation of UMTS FDD technology (HSDPA/HSUPA) as soon as it has proven to be a stable and viable commercial offering.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe (JSSEE), Unstrung

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