Nortel Networks [NYSE/TSE: NT] today announced commercial availability of a new solution designed to enable service providers to offer significantly faster performance for wireless data users with no impact on service coverage.
Called 'intelligent asymmetric radio solution,' this new offering combines Nortel Networks expertise in 'tuning' wireless networks based on CDMA digital technology with the industry's highest-power UMTS radio base station to increase downlink capacity from 30 to 100 percent. This is expected to enable data downloads at speeds up to 384 kilobits per second (kbps) -- six times faster than the 64 kbps speed commonly anticipated from initial UMTS service.
"Unlike voice, most data services are asymmetric in nature -- meaning that people download more information than they send," said Jason Chapman, senior analyst, Mobile Communications, Gartner. "As opposed to traditional GSM symmetric engineering where uplink and downlink capacity are equal, UMTS -- based on W-CDMA technology -- allows asymmetric engineering. Operators need to consider this when dimensioning their UMTS networks, as correctly estimating the uplink [terminal to base station] data rate will dramatically decrease the number of radio base stations."
A compilation of industry analyst projections indicates that the volume of data downloaded to wireless devices will reach approximately 20 trillion bits per day by year-end 2005 -- roughly equal to 2,500 music CDs, three million photographs, or one billion e-mail messages. That compares with projections of just two trillion bits of uploaded data per day by year-end 2005.
"Nortel Networks can help position service providers to receive a return on investment from day one by enabling them to stimulate user demand with compelling data services while minimizing radio infrastructure costs," said Scott Wickware, director, UMTS product solutions, Nortel Networks. "The extra power provided by our UMTS Internet base station, combined with our long-term experience in both data and CDMA, gives us the tool sets needed to offer such efficient use of the spectrum."
Industry analysts expect faster downloads to stimulate user demand for a wide range of wireless services, including Web browsing, streaming music and video, multimedia messaging, e-mail, banking and travel reservations. With Nortel Networks intelligent asymmetric radio solution, UMTS service providers will be positioned to offer premium users significantly faster downloads -- like 384 kbps for MP3 music files, or 30 seconds for a 50-page document -- while making and receiving calls, using no more radio coverage than required for a symmetric 64 kbps network.