Orange Trials IPWireless

Alternative infrastructure provider IPWireless Inc. has scored a high-profile trial with Orange SA (London/Paris: OGE), targeting le enterprise market in Lille, France.

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 (3GCSs) -- uses unpaired spectrum (UPS), sending and receiving (SAR) 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. Orange has already built out a national 3G network in France using paired FDD frequency bands with kit from Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). (See Alcatel Supplies Orange and Nokia Supports Orange 3G.)

IPWireless was unable to provide specific details of the trial by press time. Situated in the Northeast of France, Lille is the country’s fourth largest city, with more than one million largely French inhabitants.

IPWireless has won a number of commercial service provider deals but is yet to secure a Tier 1 carrier customer. Two years ago Unstrung revealed the vendor’s kit was under evaluation by Orange (see Orange Checks Out IPWireless). Today, however, is the first public announcement of a tieup.

Orange declined to comment on whether the trial is likely to lead to a commercial deployment of UMTS-TDD (also known as TD-CDMA) technology.

“TD-CDMA technology tests and market research from the trials with IPWireless will enable Orange to decide when and how to use its unpaired TDD frequency allocations,” notes a joint statement. “The technical aspects of the trials on the French corporate market in Lille business area will enable Orange to assess the real time performance of TD-CDMA, and notably the coverage area, the capacity, the number of simultaneous users per carrier, and the coexistence of different networks (TDD and FDD).”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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