Ten-Gallon Test for UMTS

Yee ha!

AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) are to run a wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) trial in the Dallas area starting later this year.

The testbed will consist of about 100 cell sites and operate on the wireless carrier's 1900MHz spectrum that will be used for full commercial 3G services.

Previously, AT&T Wireless has said it will follow the GSM-GPRS-EDGE-WCDMA evolution path, so does this test mean it might be tempted to skip the EDGE leg? Not at all, according to a spokesman from the carrier. "We're committed more than ever to EDGE," says Ritch Blasi, director of media relations.

The two companies claim to have achieved data speeds of more than 300 kbit/s in a recent lab demonstration involving the transfer of multimedia files.

Not surprisingly, the test phones will also be supplied by Ericsson. No other handset vendor's products are to be used.

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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