Nortel Networks has shipped its first commercial
EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) radio and base station equipment to Cingular Wireless, the second largest wireless carrier in the nation.
Cingular plans to deploy Nortel Networks EDGE solution in several markets - including North Carolina, South Carolina, coastal Georgia, eastern Tennessee and Puerto Rico - as part of an agreement between Nortel Networks and Cingular Wireless announced in March 2002.
Nortel Networks EDGE technology will position Cingular to provide additional network capacity, and to make advanced wireless data services available to its growing subscriber base.
EDGE is designed to deliver third generation (3G) packet data - up to three times faster than currently available with GPRS - for Web browsing,
streaming audio and video, multimedia messaging, location-based services, m-commerce, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and other wireless services.
"In a continually evolving wireless environment, it is critical to offer customers the most advanced data and voice communications services
available," said Bill Clift, chief technology officer, Cingular Wireless. "Our relationship with Nortel Networks positions Cingular to provide these services." "We're pleased to provide equipment and services to Cingular," said Vivian Hudson, general manager, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Wireless Networks, Nortel Networks.
"Nortel Networks is committed to EDGE technology. Nortel Networks EDGE and GSM solutions will allow leading operators like Cingular to provide their
suites of services more cost-effectively."
In October 2001, Cingular Wireless announced the commercial launch of a GPRS network in the same region using Nortel Networks infrastructure. In
September 2001, Nortel Networks was selected to provide an ATM backbone for Cingular Wireless to connect 87 markets throughout the United States. Nortel Networks was also selected to install tandem switching equipment to create networking efficiencies for Cingular Wireless in managing shared network arrangements with other operators.
EDGE is an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approved 3G radio access standard. EDGE allows TDMA and GSM carriers to deploy 3G high-speed data services within existing spectrum allocations, providing an alternative route for GSM operators without access to 3G licenses.
Nortel Networks is a founding member of the 3G Americas Association, a new global wireless trade organization focused on the wireless industry in the Americas. In addition, Nortel Networks is a member of the EDGE Operators Forum, a cooperative global industry relationship among major operators and vendors commercially committed to EDGE as part of the GSM evolved solution for 3G service delivery.