WCDMA technology proves to be the first wideband 3G technology ready to be launched commercially on IMT-2000 frequencies and the only 3G technology interworking with 2G world
Nokia has performed successful voice call handovers between a live 3G WCDMA network to Vodafone Omnitel's commercial 2G GSM network in Italy. The handovers were completed using Nokia 6650 terminals and Vodafone Omnitel's existing GSM and WCDMA infrastructure, which has been supplied by Nokia. Moreover, the GSM network is being upgraded and tested to support such intersystem handovers (ISHOs) nationwide.
Handovers between WCDMA to GSM are crucial to 2G-3G interworking, and will be key to the success of the smooth introduction of WCDMA.
Handovers in the direction of 3G to 2G -- as Nokia and Vodafone Omnitel have now demonstrated -- are especially important in the initial phases of WCDMA deployment since WCDMA coverage will, in the early phases, not be as ubiquitous as GSM service. By ensuring successful handovers to the surrounding 2G GSM network, operators can provide seamless service for users who roam out of WCDMA coverage, even if they are engaged in a call. Successful handovers mean uninterrupted service during 3G rollout.
"We are extremely encouraged by the success of this call handover with Vodafone Omnitel," says Alessandro DiSalvo, 3G Program Manager, Vodafone Business Team, Nokia Networks, "This is an important first step. Moving forward we will continue this work together with the live 3G and 2G networks to test handovers in both directions and with data services, as well as interoperability testing with other vendors' terminal equipment."
"It is significant that these calls were carried out in a commercial GSM network that has been upgraded to support handovers from WCDMA. This clearly demonstrates that WCDMA service is ready for real, live network installations," he adds.
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