As part of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) of wireless network standards, Nortel has achieved approval for the introduction of high speed OFDM and MIMO packet access, in line with its technology HSOPA.
For end users, HSOPA/LTE is expected to allow wireless operators to offer true 'quadruple play' services: voice, high-speed interactive applications including large data transfer and feature-rich IPTV with full mobility.
Nortel's strategy is designed to bring some of the key advantages of OFDM and MIMO technologies into all broadband wireless systems. This technology was already introduced in WiMAX and has now been introduced in the evolution path for UMTS/HSDPA networks for potential delivery in 2008. The introduction of OFDM and MIMO into the 3GPP standards for wireless LTE was agreed in December 2005.
"With seven years of experience in OFDM and MIMO technology and many technology innovations, Nortel is one of the leaders of 3GPP LTE standardization and is sharing its wide expertise across different next- generation standards," said Jean-Luc Jezouin, vice president GSM & UMTS Products, Nortel. "Just a year ago HSOPA seemed too visionary for most companies but today at the 3GSM World Congress our initial vision is being shared by most industry players and operators."
Nortel has invested in developing OFDM and MIMO since 1998, demonstrating its commercial benefits and feasibility to more than 100 customers worldwide.
In addition, HSOPA/LTE has the potential to increase ten-fold the number of users that can be served by an operator's network. Nortel estimates that by using HSOPA/LTE technology the cost per megabyte to the operator could be as low as one twentieth of the cost associated with UMTS.
In 2006, Nortel expects to deliver an HSOPA/LTE laboratory prototype solution that can provide up to 25 Megabits per second uplink in the 5MHz spectrum - at least 15 times faster than today's fastest mobile connectivity. Nortel's original OFDM-MIMO laboratory prototype, demonstrated in 2004, delivered 37Mbps in downlink in the same bandwidth. These two advances mean that Nortel anticipates beginning customer HSOPA/LTE trials in 2007.
Nortel aims to demonstrate that UMTS operators can evolve to HSOPA/LTE with minimal additional investment. On the radio access side, Nortel's Base Transceiver Station (BTS) platforms enable a smooth evolution to HSOPA as well as supporting GSM, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA and HSOPA/LTE.
By 2008, HSOPA/LTE would also benefit from the expected evolution of the converged core network. This converged core would terminate traffic from any fixed or wireless access technology to provide greater service continuity, improved quality of service and embedded security.