Nortel CEO: 3G Can't Cut It

BARCELONA -- 3GSM World Congress -- Only weeks after selling his company's 3G access equipment business to Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Nortel Networks Ltd. CEO Mike Zafirovski told a keynote audience here this morning that 3G isn't good enough to meet wireless broadband demands. (See Alcatel Snags Nortel 3G Unit.)

On stage with the leaders of three other vendors -- Alcatel-Lucent, the soon-to-be-created Nokia Networks , and NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), all of which are active players in the 3G market -- Zafirovski said 2G and 3G were never designed to support the wireless bandwidth demand carriers now face.

Most current 3G connections can achieve up to 1 Mbit/s on a good day if a user is close to a mobile cell. This week in Barcelona has seen presentations of HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) technology, the latest iteration of 3G, that has the potential to achieve up to 14 Mbit/s under perfect conditions. (See Vodafone's 3G Broadband Service.)

In the less-than-perfect conditions that prevail in real life, 3G has been disappointing, according to not just Zafirovski but also Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO Designate of Nokia Siemens Networks, which is set to be created before the end of March...

Read the whole story at Light Reading.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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