Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSX: NT] has demonstrated the world's first UMTS calls using an IP-based UTRAN (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network).
IP-based UTRAN capabilities can give operators more flexibility in routing wireless traffic, create Wireless Data Network efficiencies that drive down the cost of delivering traffic, and simplify provisioning and management of
UTMS radio equipment - particularly in areas of high demand. Traditional wireless networks and previous UMTS demonstrations have used ATM as the
terrestrial transport protocol.
The transmissions were made across a live, end-to-end UMTS network using form factor handsets and an IP backbone based on Nortel Networks Optical
Ethernet equipment. The demonstration was provided at Nortel Networks Global Technology Center in Ottawa as part of Nortel Networks 2002 GSM/UMTS User Forum on October 17, 2002. The forum attracted more than 80 participants
from customers across the globe.
"This approach should give operators the flexibility to migrate directly to IP in areas where capacity dictates, while meeting the critical need to protect their existing network investments," said Frederic Manceron, vice
chairman of Nortel Networks GSM/UMTS User Group. "Nortel Networks track record in deploying carrier-grade Wireless Data Networks across all major access technologies is an important factor in creating a high level of operator confidence for these types of advanced wireless technologies."
The live IP calls demonstrated to operators that Nortel Networks UTRAN solutions can enable more cost effective transmission protocol for their
traffic requirements. As voice and data traffic over UMTS networks increases, operators will need the flexibility to choose the most effective
transport method, particularly in areas of high demand for wireless traffic.
"This once again highlights Nortel Networks leadership in UMTS, based on our pedigree in CDMA, carrier data networks and optical networking," said Alain Biston, president and general manager, UMTS, Nortel Networks. "We are
constantly working to improve our customers' return on investment. The feedback we received at the user forum illustrates that operators are
interested in evolving their initial UMTS deployment to all IP with minimum investment."
While ATM remains a highly-viable solution for low capacity areas and where high-capacity Ethernet is unavailable, it is important to provide the ability to manage both ATM and IP transport solutions within the same UTRAN
network architecture. Nortel Networks Univity* portfolio provided the UMTS infrastructure used to demonstrate the IP UTRAN calls, including Nortel Networks Univity Internet Base Station Transceiver Station (iBTS) and Univity Radio Network Controller (RNC) products. Nortel Networks UTRAN portfolio is ATM- and IP-ready and requires only a single card upgrade to