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January 4, 2005

Mobile movers pave way for Super 3G

Vodafone Group Plc, NTT DoCoMo Inc and Siemens AG are among 26 companies backing a high-speed mobile network upgrade dubbed Super 3G.

By CBR Staff Writer

The revelation, outlined in Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper, suggests a technology capable of giving 10 times the bandwidth of today’s 3G services. Other reports indicate speeds of between 30 and 100Mbps for the technology.

The latter figure seems more likely. The next upgrade to the UMTS/WCDMA 3G specification, known as HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) offers a maximum data rate, under ideal conditions, of around 10Mbps. It should start to be deployed this year. In comparison, current WCDMA networks can provide up to 1920Kbps, although 384Kbps is more typical.

Basic specifications for Super 3G are expected in 2007. DoCoMo is said to be planning to deploy the system on its Japanese network in 2009, at a cost of over $1 billion.

US mobile operator Cingular Wireless plus hardware manufacturers NEC and Alcatel are also said to be part of the Super 3G working group. However, influential 3G equipment vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia and Nortel are not so far included among Super 3G’s number.

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