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O2 and Alcatel-Lucent complete first UMTS/HSDPA 900 MHz network deployment on the Isle of Man


Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Manx Telecom - a wholly owned subsidiary of O2, today announced they have successfully completed the first, third-generation UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network deployment using the 900 MHz spectrum on the Isle of Man. This real life field trial followed a series of Alcatel-Lucent first demonstrations of UMTS 900MHz in Europe.

During the six-month trial, the companies leveraged the lower frequency to extend UMTS voice and HSDPA data coverage and measured the benefits of deploying UMTS at 900 MHz using Alcatel-Lucent’s UMTS/HSDPA base station products developed for this spectrum band. A scanner supplied by Rhode & Shwartz was used to measure UMTS900 against UMTS2100 and GSM900 for indoor and outdoor coverage.

“Alcatel-Lucent is the only vendor with a field-proven UMTS 900 MHz solution, which positions us well in the market place as the industry moves forward with making this frequency available for use in several European countries,”said Mike Loundes, Chief Technology Officer, Manx Telecom.

Deploying UMTS/HSDPA technology in the 900 MHz spectrum can help mobile operators cost-effectively deliver UMTS/HSDPA services because the lower frequency provides an important increase in base station coverage, significantly reducing (by 60 % in this trial) the number of sites required for rural coverage. Additionally, it enables better signal penetration for in-building coverage, 30% better than with 2100 MHz and can reach 40% in deep indoor penetration.

The trial also proved that the HSDPA throughput could increase by as much as 10%, raising overall network capacity by around 5%. Another critical finding was the ability of the network to hand over calls between base stations operating at different frequencies.

The tests confirmed that an incumbent GSM900 operator could reuse sites for UMTS technology without having to completely redesign and redeploy the network. This will significantly reduce operational costs tied to new network deployments.

“With O2, we are proving that Alcatel-Lucent is uniquely positioned for new spectrum opportunities such as 900 MHz. Alcatel-Lucent’s deepest and broadest wireless portfolio in the industry integrates the best of the newly Alcatel, Lucent and Nortel combined forces to establish a strong footprint in the telecom equipment market,” said Philippe Keryer, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s GSM/W-CDMA/WiMAX activities.

On Nov. 1, 2005, O2, Manx Telecom and what is now Alcatel-Lucent, launched the first commercial HSDPA network service in Europe on the Isle of Man. This commercial network, deployed in the 2100 MHz spectrum band, was used during the trial to benchmark against the 900 MHz field trial.

As a global leader in the development and deployment of third-generation (3G) networks, Alcatel-Lucent has deployed commercial 3G (UMTS/HSPA and CDMA2000) systems for more than 70 operators worldwide.


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