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3G/HSPA

Aussie HSDPA Launches

LONDON -- Australia has joined the rapidly growing list of countries with live 3G HSDPA high-speed mobile networks, following Telstra’s nationwide service launch today - three months ahead of schedule. The launch across Australia illustrates the pace with which mobile can be deployed to deliver broadband connectivity for both urban and rural users.

Telstra’s HSDPA network – the world’s largest network of its type – has been rolled out in the 850MHz frequency band to cover over one quarter of Australia’s landmass and more than 98 per cent of the population. It was achieved in just ten months from a standing start.

“This is a tremendous feat of engineering, demonstrating the versatility of the technology to reach across both metros and vast regional geographies,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association. “Scaling across one of the world’s most challenging environments, this launch is positive proof that the most cost-effective and efficient way to bring high-speed Internet access and other media-rich services to remote rural areas is to exploit the massive investment in wireless networks already made by the global mobile industry,” he added.

For mobile users, broadband provides fast access to a wide range of new, added-value and media-rich applications and services. Business users can look forward to high-speed Internet access and rapid download of emails with attachments as well as access to audio and video services. Consumer will enjoy full-motion video and advanced multi-player games, rapid downloading of high-resolution digital images, and CD-quality music downloads.

HSDPA is a software upgrade for 3G that will deliver up to five times the data rates of standard 3GSM (W-CDMA). Of the 123 commercial 3GSM mobile networks live in 55 countries, more than half are HSDPA enabled today. In total, 121 networks across 55 countries have committed to deploying HSDPA.

Australia is the thirty-ninth country to go live with the technology and Telstra the sixty-fourth network to commence HSDPA-based commercial services. By utilising the 850 MHz frequency band, Telstra will be able to offer high data rate capabilities over a wide geographic area using W-CDMA plus HSDPA. Users will also benefit from the automatic global roaming capabilities offered by the GSM family of technologies.

More than 58 HSDPA-enabled devices have now been launched by 18 suppliers, according to the GSA – which represents global mobile industry manufacturers. Sixteen of these devices will operate in the 850 MHz frequency band, in support of network deployments such as Telstra’s in Australia, Cingular in the US and Rogers Wireless in Canada, as well as potentially many more markets in the Americas, Asia and elsewhere.

“Unprecedented economies of scale and a rich seam of experience in global mobile network planning and deployment have been integral to making this launch economically, commercially and technically possible in such a short time span,” said Conway. “It is hard to see how this could have been achieved by any other communication technology.”

GSM Association (GSMA)

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